September 4: Navajo National Monument to Montrose (Four Corners, Ouray Hot Springs)
The next day, I left the campsit very early, at like 6 am. I was relieved to put it behind me, even though the area was gorgeous. I've always wanted to visit Chaco Canyon, and I imagine it would be very similar to Navajo, because the two are close together although completely different in culture & architecture.
I stopped at the Four Corners tourist trap hoping that my $3 would get me a decent bathroom. No, just portable toilets. Ugh.
Here I am standing between Colorado and New Mexico.
Once in Colorado, I had a frustrating day looking for but not finding coffee. I was sort of happy that there was not a single starbucks in any of the towns I drove through (I expected one in Cortez!). The lack of coffee prompted my stop in Telluride. While Telluride is undeniably gorgeous, in a beautiful setting, the town and the people who hang out there are so annoying. But they do have coffee shops—I counted five! I got a great iced coffee with an espresso shot in it and proceeded to get the heck away from the Patagonia-wearing yuppie freaks who populate the town.
Coffee in hand I went to Ouray, a town just as gorgeous as Telluride without the crazy people. There is a wonderful natural hot springs there. I went swimming for about two or three hours.
This is the hot pool. One of the prettiest settings for a swimming pool ever.
From Ouray, I drove the 10 miles or so to Montrose, where my dad used to live before he got sucked into working in Fiji. He still has a house there, full of chiles and very funky. People used to heat their house with a heater in the basement and a bunch of holes in the floor upstairs. Someone carpeted over the floor without filling the holes, so when you walk around your feet dip into these soft spots. It's a little disconcerting. I had dinner with his ex-wife Ginny, who lives two blocks away (he followed her, it was weird). We went to Montrose's only and great Himalayan place.
September 5: Montrose to Denver
Montrose to Denver is either uneventful or gorgeous depending what road you take. 70 is uneventful (unless you want to go swimming again @ Glenwood Springs). 285 is gorgeous. One of my all time favorite hotsprings is en route near Buena Vista (pronounced BEUna Vista). Cottonwood hot springs is just a few miles from Buena Vista, but I didn't stop. Ouray satisfied my hot springs needs. 285 runs along the Rio Grande, which seems surprising as people usually think of the Rio Grande marking the US/Mexico border. But it doesn't. Denver is as far north as I went on this trip. My entire extended family lives there except for outposts in Phoenix and Portland/Seattle. I also have a lot of family in New Mexico, but they are not my immediate relatives.
- Lindsay Kelley
- Lindsay Kelley is an artist and writer researching bioart, fringe foods, and uncommon modes of food preparation and ingestion. She is currently completing her book manuscript, The Bioart Kitchen. Lindsay holds a MFA in Digital Art & New Media and a Ph.D in the History of Consciousness, both from the University of California Santa Cruz. She works at the Public Library of Science on the PLOS ONE editorial team.