|Navajo Twins adjacent to Twin Rocks Cafe|
Since we didn't start this trek until after lunch, we decided to backtrack north to a road indicating "Hovenweep" was in an easterly direction; a map indicated this was Route 262. It is a paved road, but not well maintained, so you might find it a bit rough and bumpy in spots. I know the map above says it is a dirt road, but its been fixed up since that map was printed way back who knows when.
Along the way you'll see many formations in the rocky areas, if they had a specific name there were no signs indicating any. You'll also be driving parallel to Native American Reservation land and the San Juan River can be spied now and then. There will be two road junctions you'll come across, one to Montezuma Creek, the other to Aneth which are both situated along Route 162. We stayed on Route 262 to see how far it actually went, and what else we could see on it.
At the end of Route 262, a road to the left leads towards Hovenweep and the Hatch Trading Post; well somehow we missed the sign and stayed on the road leading to the right. We later found out this was Road G which would eventually bring us out onto Route 491 (S. Broadway) just north of the airport in Cortez, Colorado. By the way, you'll see snow on the mountains; we took this ride in early spring and it was still cold up there, but not in the desert areas. So off to Road G we go...
Now this is really a scenic, pleasant drive; the road is twisty here and there, so don't plan on driving too fast on it. Once in awhile we would spot an abandoned building and wondered if it dated back to the early pioneers or not. I finally had the opportunity to stop and take a photo of long horned cattle; a thrill since I'd only seen them on television. I would have liked to not have the barbed wire in the shot, but those horns intimidated me enough to keep my distance.
|Long Horned Cattle|
Along the road we did pass a "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign, but seeing Sleeping Ute Mountain was also a rather large hint that we were finally over the state border and in Colorado.
|Snow Covered Sleeping Ute Mountain|
What we didn't expect was to see a roughly made parking lot, large sandstone formations and a sign stating that this was "Canyons of the Ancients" National Monument; yep, you guessed it, not written on our map. By this time though it was nearing sunset, since daylight savings time had not sprung into spring as yet. As much as we wanted to explore, doing it in the darkness was not on our to-do list.
|Sand Canyon Trail Entrance|