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Escalante Pueblo Ruins overlooking McGee Reservoir

Spectacular 360 degree views

More ruins

View McGee Reservoir

We read everything

Nearby Dolores

Lots of uncovered Pueblo ruins in this area

McGee is quite substantial

A view to the south

We are staying at La Mesa RV Park, a Passport America park. The park is not fancy but works. They honor the discount for only two nights and they are open year round. The drive way is a little hairy to get in and out of. It is located just on the northern outskirts of Cortez making it convenient to run in town for supplies and laundry.

Of the recommended 'things to do and see', The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores is one of the very best Native American museums. It is so full of Native American artifacts and reproductions it can take hours to see everything. Outside the museum and a short walk to the top of a hill you will see the remains of the Escalante Pueblo and a spectacular view of the McGee Reservoir and the surrounding valley and farms. It is here that we learned about the "Canyons of the Ancients" National Monument.

The Canyons of the Ancients is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It encompasses almost 164,000 acres of high desert in southwest Colorado. The area has the largest number of archeological structures known today. More than 5,000 have been excavated with a potential of thousands more to be excavated and studied.

As usual, J.C. found a 'round about' way to get to Dolores so we could see as much of the area as possible. This part of southern Colorado is the only National Scenic Byway dedicated to archeology. "The Trail of the Ancients" and the "Four Corners" takes you through remote archeological sites exposing the long and amazing history of the the numerous Native American tribes that inhabited this area. I think the most notable thing I learned is the ancestral Puebloan civilization was many different tribes that merged, adapted and sometimes disappeared. The history is a continuing process of learning and discovery.

We didn't make to the Four Corners Monument. This a unique landmark where four states meet. A person can place their hand and knees on the four corners placing themselves in all four states at the same time.

The weather is turning cold and we are supposed to get some precipitation. We got a late start waiting for it to warm up and stopped a little early because it was getting too cold. Hope the weather holds until we can see Mesa Verde National Park.

We decided to stop for dinner at a place called "Nero's". It is in old downtown Cortez. Great place!. The food was awesome. J.C. had a wonderful entree of quail. The prices were reasonable for the quality.

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