January 27, 2016, Walsenburg, CO- U.S. Highway 160 has long been one of my favourite routes- at least, the part between Tuba City, AZ and this little south central Colorado community has been, since we first traveled it, in 1983.
I lived for 5 years in Tuba City, four of them with Penny. I was a school counselor, at the public Intermediate School (Grades 4-6). During that time, we made friends with several people who lived there, and in the Navajo communities further northeast, sheepherding communities like Dinnebito, Tonalea, Cow Springs, and Kaibeto. Highway 160 runs through Tonalea and Cow Springs, and there are several classic rock formations, throughout the portion of Arizona that is bisected by the 160, all the way to Four Corners, where four states meet.
I will do more with photos, when traveling the route again, in June. For now, a dead battery in my camera, and a time frame connected with the Essential Oils Winter Summit, which calls me to the Front Range, have interrupted the photographic aspect of driving along this glorious road.
Once past Four Corners, I encountered a series of uniquely beautiful southern Colorado towns: Bustling and congenial Cortez, agricultural Mancos and Bayfield, riparian Durango and its stately Fort Lewis College, healing Pagosa Springs, ski-oriented South Fork, laid-back Del Norte, commercial hubs Monte Vista and Alamosa, Spanish land-grant Walsenburg.
I pretty much bulled my way along the road today: I gave a Navajo hitchhiker a ride from Tuba to Kayenta, the gateway to Monument Valley, scene of so many John Ford Westerns. I filled up the car at City Market’s gas station, in Cortez. I filled myself up at Junction Restaurant, Pagosa Springs- a favourite of mine, just because it lies at the western edge of Wolf Creek Mountain, whose Pass is frequently blocked in winter.
Not so, this evening, and I marveled at the stars overhead, once being able to slow down and take them in, atop the massive mountain pass, with no ice or snow on the road. I was planning to stop in Alamosa, for the evening, but the only non-chain motel had a No Vacancy sign, despite a near-empty parking lot.
It was just as well, though, as I made it to Walsenburg, a town I visited, briefly, two years ago, whilst bringing furniture further up the road, to the Denver area. Sands Motel is a gem, small enough to have gorgeous rooms AND be economical. I will post a photo or two of the motel, when writing about my return trip.
For the next three days, I will be ensconced in a business meeting, so my posts will alternately extol essential oils and address some of the prompts in Winter Scavenger Hunt. Stay sane and warm, everyone.