Visiting The Ancestors

Great Grandma Spencer

Today is the day we visited Cedar Cemetery in Montrose. Cedar is the resting place of my Great Grandmother and her mother (my G2). G1’s youngest brother, one of my Great Uncles is also buried here. Damsel and I placed wreaths on their graves today and took some photos.

Of special interest to us was the headstone pictured above. We were here two years ago and found that there was no monument for my Great Grandmother who passed in 1960. For over five and a half decades, she was in an unmarked grave.

Last year, Damsel and I contracted with a monument company in Delta, CO, about 20 miles north of Montrose, to place the marker shown above. We had seen photos of it before, but now that we’re here we know the monument company did a great job. We left the cemetery with a feeling of great satisfaction.

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Montrose, CO

Colorado River

I’m sure that one of the little known scenic treasures in Utah is the route from Moab alongside the Colorado River going on Utah 128 to the northeast. In places, it rivals the scenic views of the towering canyon walls of Grand Canyon, the rock formations of Monument Valley and some of the most scenic rivers of America. We once again have limited upload bandwidth, so this is just a single image of the river at one of he bends in the canyon (courtesy Damsel). More images may be posted later.

Tonight, we’re here in Montrose, CO almost two years to the date since we were camped here before. We visited a nearby cemetery where my Great Grandmother is buried then and discovered that after nearly 50 years, she still had no headstone. We corrected that last year by working with a local Colorado monument company to place a marker. We will be heading over there tomorrow to observe the new stone and to decorate the grave and another one where my Great-Great Grandmother lies.

Here is a photo of our campsite I took this afternoon . . .

Montrose Campsite


Camping in Moab, UT

Wilson Arch

We spent the day enjoying Utah! We drove from Monument Valley to Moab, which is just south of Arches Nat’l Park. Wilson Arch in the photo above (courtesy Damsel) is several miles south of Moab and not a part of the park. It is right along US 191 which we took to get here.

Since we have been to Arches NP several times in the past, we won’t be visiting there this time. We plan to join the Colorado River in North Moab and head upstream through the scenic river canyon as we head to Grand Junction, CO and thence to Montrose where we will be staying for a couple days.

Our campsite here in South Moab is nice - spacious with good views of mountains to the south and the red palisade immediately to the west. We’re comfy here and have good satellite TV reception and good 4G internet access. Our rig in its spot is pictured below. Click on either image to enlarge.

Moab Campsite

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Monument Valley Day Two

Monument Formation

We spent the morning doing our usual camping routine - walk the dogs, eat breakfast, feed the dogs, etc.

Later, Damsel and I went shopping for curios, postcards and such at the gift shop here. We picked up a few things, but there is a better selection a mile down the hill from where we are, so we will be stopping there in the morning after we break camp.

We also took several walks around the area, some with the dogs and some with our cameras. This is a very beautiful campground in itself, but the views into the valley are very spectacular. We both took photos, but our net connection is quite slow, so most will have to wait to be uploaded until we get a better connection.

I took the view above with my Canon EOS SL1 at a focal length of 139mm. I cropped the image and applied color corrections to compensate for the haze. This is one of the more prominent monuments we can see from the campground. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Camping at Monument Valley

View From Campground

For the next couple of nights we’re camped at Goulding’s Campground at the foot of Monument Valley. The view from the campground is shown above (we actually have to walk a couple of hundred feet from our campsite to see this). But the campground is beautiful itself surrounded by cliffs and red rock formations.

Our campsite is a little more reasonable than that of last night. We’re in a spacious pull thru with trees, a picnic table and all the shore power, water and sewer hookups.

Monument Valley Campsite

Even though it is early in our proposed journey, we are suffering from a couple of minor drawbacks. Foremost is that the automatic leveling jack system which was working perfectly at home has now decided to stop functioning. We can live with that since most campsites are fairly level and we can live with a little tilt. Other problems include the DVD player, which failed to function last night when we wanted to put on a video. We wound up watching the DVD on one of the computers.

Problems aside, we are here to relax and enjoy the scenery. Damsel wants to go to the main hotel complex down below to do some gift shopping and such. She will be enjoying that for sure. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet (not that at home is otherwise) but away from the retirement routine.

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Montezuma’s Well

Montezuma’s Well

Damsel and I took off today on our August excursion. Our goal is to get to a couple of resting places of our ancestry, mainly in Colorado. On the way, we will stop at some scenic places like Montezuma’s Well near McGuireville, AZ, just a couple of miles off of I-17.

In addition to the well itself, there were some ancient Sinagua Native People’s ruins carved into the cliff above the well.

Sinagua Cliff Ruins

Our camping spot for the night is in Flagstaff, AZ at an RV Park whose accommodations are quite cramped for a motorhome like ours. There is barely enough room to deploy the pop outs and because of the tall pines, we have no satellite TV reception here.

Cramped Camp Spot

It’s only for tonight and we will know better “Next Time” we come camping up this way. There is a great campground where we have previously stayed on a couple of occasions in Williams, AZ, not too far from where we are tonight.

Image credits: top two courtesy Damsel and the campsite photo is mine.

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Open Season on Bark Scorpions

scorpio.jpgI just killed one of these in the garage this evening. They like to come out in monsoon season and infest under your “stuff” piled here and there. I sprayed Ortho all over the garage and at the entrance to the house. That particular brand of insect repellent/eradicator has done the trick here since we arrived in Arizona.

Bark scorpions can regularly be found all year long, but in the summer, especially at monsoon season, they are in abundance. We have seen them in sizes from less than an inch in length to over four inches.

They creep Damsel out a lot and I suppose they “bug” me a bit, too. They are fearsome-looking especially with the claws and the arched stinger tail in the strike pose. They appear to have eight appendages, but the “claws” are actually extended jaw parts for it to shove prey in its mouth. It’s not an arachnid, but an insect designated as Centruroides sculpturatus.

It’s the most poisonous scorpion in Arizona. Read more at the Wikipedia Article.

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