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Friday, December 7, 2012

Honeymoon Road Trip Part 4 (Days 14-18)

Day 14 (Sunday, November 11):

The day started out sunny but cold, and we made our way to Arches National Park. We got to Arches National Park late in the morning, and unfortunately, it was a little too cold to spend much time hiking around, but we got to see tons of arches from the car. We learned the difference between an arch and a bridge- a bridge is formed by flowing water, like a stream, but an arch is formed by small amounts of water seeping into cracks in the rock or by the wind.


Then we stopped at a cool rest stop...

 And then went to Four Corners. You know, the place where four states meet. We got to stand in four states at one time!

Super cool. Someday, I'll probably be showing those pictures while teaching geography someday!

We headed out from Four Corners around 5 pm, and got to Cortez before stopping for the night. Next stop- Mesa Verde!

Day 15 (Monday, November 12):

We headed out early from Cortez to Mesa Verde, Colorado. Due to the delicate nature of the ruins, a tour guide had to take us (and a group of people) into the ruins to explore a bit.

Archeologists believe that the ruins were built about 800 years ago, and were abandoned sometime in the 1400's. They're not sure why the ancient Pueblo people left, and there isn't a lot of information about the people themselves. Cowboys were the first to find these ruins and told all about them in the 1800's.
 Our tour guide had lots of info, and was fun to meet.
 I was amazed by how level everything was. Using almost no tools, these ancient people made such an organized and straight place.
 There were some paintings on the walls- see the triangles made of dots? Toward the bottom right corner of this picture, you can see a handprint... as our tour guide said, "One of the greatest marks of humanity."
 This is a kiva, a hole in the ground that was typically covered with a "roof" of branches and mud. Kivas were used for worship. They had a fireplace area, with a venting system that let smoke filter out and clean air filter in without losing the heat from the fire.

What a cool experience!

After Mesa Verde, we had a decision to make. It was only day 15, and we had hit all the places we really wanted to see. So, should we go home? Lame. To Texas? Where?!?

A couple of months ago, Zeke found a cool retreat place with yurts and personal hot tubs that was pretty inexpensive. And it's in Arkansas! Hey, what's a couple hundred more miles?

So we readjusted our GPS and headed to Arkansas, making our reservations on the way. We got to Amarillo, Texas that night (surprisingly, they didn't really have much of an accent), and slept in a hotel.

Day 16 (Tuesday, November 13):

We left Amarillo and headed out toward Arkansas and our waiting yurt. It was a long drive.

Our destination was in the Ozarks. Cool. We arrived around 6 pm (the days are definitely getting shorter and it was already dark)...

Ever seen a yurt before? It's like a tent... but huge. And more supported. And absolutely beautiful. We had a very pampered night's sleep, with the fireplace going and the wind through the mountains whispering.

Day 17 (Wednesday, November 14):

We spent the day exploring nearby towns and parks in Arkansas.

 We also went out to eat at the Catfish Hole. We had... catfish. Gosh it was awesome. They brought out tons of food before we even ordered, and the catfish was delicious!
I also got a couple better outside pictures of the Yurt...

 The view from our deck.
Our hot tub.

We spent the evening hanging out in the hot tub and eating leftover catfish. It was a great last day before heading back home.

Day 18 (Thursday, November 15): 

We started out early from our Yurt... it was hard to say goodbye, but I think we were both ready to be home. We drove north back to Iowa. We got home around eight that evening, fed the turtle and the fish, and started re-adjusting to life back at home.

What an awesome trip! We are blessed.

If you missed the first part of our trip, click here for Days 1-4!

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