DAY 4 May 28, 2009

Woke up in a real bed and took another glorious hot shower. Gotta grab your joy wherever you can find it.

The Blanding Visitor Center was great- it had a nice little museum, touring info, internet access, and a goody bag.

Drove out to Hovenweep National Monument. You pass the Hatch Trading Post, but there was nothing to see. I decided to hike the whole loop. I would say that you don't really gain anything by doing so, just be sure to walk all the way to where the drop begins. The 80 foot vertical descent into the canyon is tight and the climb out is strenuous.

The ruins are great! A wide variety of well preserved buildings.

I was enjoying my hike until I looked up to see a fast approaching thunder storm. I was on the opposite side of the canyon and on the rim-NOT some place you want to be during an electrical storm. I busted out the last 3/4 miles and got to my car about 5 minutes before the real storm hit.

This little guy is apparently very aggressive, even dangerous, to humans.

I stopped at the Guy Drew Winery on my way into Cortez, CO. I tasted most of their offerings and purchased a very nice port and an unoaked chardonay that was divine. Culinary highlight of the trip, so far.

I ate dinner at the J Fargo Brew Pub and can honestly say the best thing I had were the french fries-anyone else noticing a trend here? The BBQ ribs were a tasteless, chewy hunk of meat that was either cut very badly or from the wrong part of the hog. The beer was even worse, if that is possible. I ordered a sampler. The waitress poured three of the four selections and let me know the one I really wanted to taste was out of stock and I could get a second of my favorite. Ok...but maybe you should have let me decide if I would rather have something else. Then I tasted the beers. They were all so bad that I really did not want seconds of any, in fact I didn't finish what I had.

Went up to McFee Reservoir hoping for a free spot on US Forest Service land, but all places were marked no vehicles or no overnight parking. The area had numerous deer herds near the road.

Their unimproved sites were $14 plus $4 for a shower-no thanks. Back in town, I found myself a well lit quiet place and tucked in for the night.

ROUTE: US 191 South>UT 262 E>Left on CR 414>Right on CR 401>Left on CR 413> Hovenweep>Left on CR 413>Left on CR 401 East into Cortez>CO 184 North to Reservoir>US 491 South back into Cortez

Lodging: Camping

Meals: J Fargo Brew Pub (* food *overall)

Attractions: Blanding Visitor Center & Museum, Hatch Trading Post, Hovenweep NM, Guy Drew Winery, McFee Reservoir, and Cortez Cultural Center (next time)

$$$: $58 Wine $22 Food/Beer $23 Fuel = $103

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