Friday, July 1, 2011

Mesa Verde and Canyons of the Ancients

We are currently in Cortez, Colorado...its really got an old west feel...(little shout out to our very own Cortez who is such a cutie :) ) 

We're about to go finish exploring the Anasazi Ruins and then head North, but wanted to share this video and some pics first..

This is inside of one of the Pueblo ruins in Mesa Verde

Above pic is actually down in a kiva!!

The rest of these pics are in the Canyons of the Ancients...but there are still so many of the ruins we didn't get to see yet so we'll have more pics/stories tomorrow!!

Go Pro Videos!!!

So we've created a YouTube channel to upload Hamp's videos...once again w/out a highspeed connection this process is kind of long so we've just picked a few favs until we can locate faster WiFi...Enjoy :)

Santa Rosa Lake (Santa Rosa, NM):

Earthships (Taos, NM):

Zapata Falls (near Great Sand Dunes, Colorado):

Great Sand Dunes (Southern Colorado):

Yesterday, we went to Mesa Verde and Canyons of the Ancients in Cortez, Colorado...Mesa Verde was absolutely amazing...we got to explore cliff dwellings from 750 actually climb down into a kiva (which was like a family's home)  The ranger told us that some of the artifacts/rocks actually date back much farther but the dwellings were from the Pueblo Indians that inhabited the area starting around 750 AD and stayed there for over 700 years before a 30-yr drought drove them out.

We only got to explore the Canyons of the Ancients for about an hour and a half so we're going back there today before we leave Cortez...these ruins date back to the Anasazi Indians over 12,000 years ago!!

We'll post videos and pics from yesteday and today hopefully later tonight!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pics, Pics and more Pics...

All of these pics are taken in the Rio Grande National Forest...we stopped at a few lakes on the way to the trail that took us to the Continental Divide...we hiked in from about 11,000 ft and we saw the moose in a high Alpine Glacieral was so cool we went through a high Alpine meadow (totally bear territory!!!) w/beautiful flowers and just the greenest landscape you've ever seen...and then the trail took us through a heavily wooded area before opening to Hunter's Lake where we got to see the was just magical!!! The pic of his track is w/ a lighter beside it so you can see how big he is...

On the way to Canyon of the Ancients/Mesa Verde...more pics to come :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sorry...I'm trying to post this via email and hit the send button too soon...anyways the moose was really calm and didn't seem to mind the pics we took.
On the way out we saw a marmot in a meadow & Kota bolted out the window after him...the marmot ran up a rock & started barking @ him. It was pretty funny to watch.

Pics of the moose tomorrow ;)

So we hiked up to a lake near the Continental Divide and what do we see...a giant bull moose! It was so cool!! It was in the 50s with snow still on the ground and were watching a moose wade in the not 100 yrds

Albuquerque to Great Sand Dunes to South Fork

We are currently camping on the bank of the Rio Grande...we could literally put our feet in the river while still sitting in our tent if we wanted!! 

Albuquerque was so much fun...Friday night Mary took us to the 48 Hour Film Festival and her boyfriend won overall for his graphics in their film so we all went out to celebrate afterwards.  The next day, Hamp cooked us all a huge brunch and then we went to Casa Rodena Vineyard for a tasting...this was our first official vineyard tasting and it was superfun!! The staff was really relaxed so it didn't feel stuffy...the four of us shared a bottle and cheese plate on the patio overlooking the vines.  After a whole day of vino drinking we didn't feel much like hiking to a camp so we stayed at Mary's and cooked out.

We left Albuquerque with intentions of spending the night in Taos but once we got there we realized how close we were to the Great Sand Dunes National Park so we decided to drive on...Taos was really cool though...there were tons of little artsy shops and restaurants lining the main street and all the buildings were so colorful. 

The Great Sand Dunes were absolutely incredible!!! The terrain of the road into the park was kind of "high desert"...not totally barren but definitely not SC...then as you get closer to the entrance the mountains are completely closing in on you and then you see the dunes...they look like something you would see in Saudi Arabia w/camels walking across them.

We got the LAST camping spot available in the park!! We waited until the sun went down to save the boys' paws from being blistered and then hiked the was so cool!! Going up the dunes was super hard (for us, not Kota...he ran full steam the entire time we were there) but going back down was worth the could run and it was like you were in slow motion..such a strange feeling. 

The next day a primo camping spot opened up and we jumped on it!! It had the perfect amount of shade and trees all around so we were separated from the other campsites better than before and we had a picture-perfect view of the dunes:
Both days we were there, we hiked to Zapata Falls:

Hamp made a ton of GoPro videos of inside the falls in the cave and of the boys running of the dunes, but our connection is not strong enough to upload them just hopefully we'll find high-speed soon b/c they're so cool!!

After leaving the park we headed farther west to South Fork, Colorado, which is where we are camping on the Rio Grande...the river is strong and freezing cold but in front of our camp site is shallow enough that we can jump rocks and walk pretty far.  Totally on accident, we chose the same campsite that they used to shoot National Lampoon's Vacation...which is a huge plus for Hamp since those are some of his fav of couse he needed to ring the cowbell:
Oh yeah...on the way from the dunes to South Fork we got to go inside one of the Earthships...the totally recycle-built homes that are completely self-sustainable and powered by 100% solar/wind energy...this was awesome b/c we've seen so many documentaries on these homes:
Yesterday in South Fork, we hiked where Spanish monks traveled in covered wagons over 200 years ago and up to a Natural Arch on top of an old volcano:

Today, we've planned a hike that will take us 5 miles up to a lake in Rio Grande National hopefully we can post our GoPro videos and pics from today soon!! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Post Coming Soon...

So we realize that we are REALLY behind on updating the blog...we finally have WI-FI but its very shotty where we are SO...tomorrow morning we are going to the camp check-in to post all of our pics from this past weekend up until today!!!

Love y'all and miss you,
Hamp, Brandi and the Boys

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Long Road to New Mexico...

Since we haven't been able to find WiFi in a while we've got a ton to share so I'm going to try to sum up our time in each city...

The boys got to see their girlfriend, Cassie and we got to see Lindsay...she took us to 2 of her new fav spots...the 1st is a Deli that is way more a live music bar than just a deli but they do offer the #10 best fries in the Nation (according to USA today). After we had drinks/apps there she took us to Local for a late-night dinner outdoors...VERY delicious burger!!

Oh..also Hamp finally changed out of his slippers and into actual shoes for the 1st time since we left Columbia :)

Amarillo, Texas: We left Lindsay's at about 10:45 and drove through the night to get to Palo Duro Canyon...which is just southeast of Amarillo...the canyon was absolutely gorgeous...our campsite was even perfect but it was so hot we tried to walk the dogs to the horse troughs to get them some water and they started crying they were so hot.  A park ranger came by and told us they were in the middle of the worst drought in the histroy of the canyon.  We then sat at the campsite for about an hour trying to see if they'd cool down but it just wasn't happening so...

Santa Rosa, New Mexico: We left Palo Duro Canyon and drove about 3 more hours west to Santa Rosa Lake State Park...this campsite was more than perfect...we were atop a rocky ledge that you could easily walk down to the beach and the lake was crystal clear...even though we really wanted to camp in Texas it was so much nicer to have a breeze and cool water.  We dined on smoked oysters and wine mini bottles (no fire b/c of all the wildfires) and watched Captain Ron on the laptop once the sun went down...

The next morning we went to a diner on Route 66 to get breakfast...huevos rancheros and a sausage smothered burrito...perfection on a plate :)  Mary suggested we go to a place called Blue Hole and jump off the suggestion ever!!  Its an 80 foot deep natural well  that is so clear people come from all over to scuba dive in it:

Albuquerque:  We finally made it to Albequerque around noon today! Mary is letting us stay with her so we have a shower!!!  Tonight we're going to a film festival/competition that her boyfriend is in and then tomorrow she's taking us to some wineries and then camping with us that night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ready, Set, Drive...then drive some more...then drive some more...

So we're 45 minutes outside of Columbia...already way later than we wanted to be thanks to sleeping through the alarm...and I randomly ask Hamp where he put the tent....dead silence...that's right we actually left the tent at the house!!  We had to turn around and go all the way back and get it which cost us a ton of time. 

Camping Trip Take Two:  Once we got back on the road...we discovered a quirky feature on the AC in the Jeep...whenever you accelerate it automatically shuts the vent door which causes the car to be warmer than expected ...Kota is of course crazy we stopped at a truck stop and purchased a Turbo Fan w/a clip mount and 2 super-snazzy sun shades w/suction cups.

Take Three:  We finally started making some good time and of course since mishaps normally travel in 3's we were due one more unpleasantry: the sky completely fell out...I mean the rain was sideways!! We decided to pull over beneath an underpass and wait it out for a while.

Due to the delays we decided to spend the 1st night in Mississippi w/Wesa and then travel to Memphis in the morning...we'll spend all day in Memphis and have dinner w/Lindsay and then drive through the night to Amarillo, Texas!!  We should arrive in Texas just in time to catch the sunrise...stay tuned :)