The title sounds as though we went to Four Corners, whirled the spinner, and chose Colorado. Although some people travel that way, we don’t. Colorado was pre-planned but Four Corners wasn’t.
We had both been to Four Corners before, the only place in the US where four states meet. We remembered a parking lot with a medallion and were ambivalent about going again. But when the sign says you are only five miles away – why not?
A lot has changed in 40 years. It is now marketed, requires $5 per person admission, and has a full complex with booths. It is actually quite nice.
After finding our campground in Cortez, our first stop was Montezuma Veterinary Clinic. Elko had been fussing with his ears and we found he has a double ear infection. Poor boy. He’s had ear drops for several days now and is improving.
In our first adventure out of Cortez, we drove an hour west to Hovenweep National Monument. During our drive on the plateau, we had wildlife sightings!
Randy saw this tarantula crossing the road so we turned around and took pictures! It was about 3 inches wide and five inches long.
Later, we saw open range horses. There was a herd of 10 horses and these two were quite comfortable in the road. They weren’t concerned as we moved slowly by.
We made it to Hovenweep National Monument and were surprised at the crowd. This place is an hour from anywhere but the parking lot was almost full.
At Hovenweep we saw remnants of Ancestral Puebloan culture in the form of round and square towers.
The Four Corners region was occupied by Ancestral Puebloans (previously called Anasazi) between 700 and 1300 when the peoples abandoned the region for unknown reasons.
The ruins at Hovenweep were thought to be built and occupied between 1230 and 1275.
The ruins were discovered in 1854 by a Mormon expedition and later named Hovenweep for the Piute/Ute word for “deserted valley.” The ruins were surveyed by Smithsonian Institution representatives in 1917-18 and designated a national monument in 1923.
There are a number of similar ruins in the area on BLM land designated Canyons of the Ancients. It takes a little effort to get there, but is worth the trip!