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This morning I drove back into Mesa Verde NP to finish sightseeing and take the ranger led guided tour of the largest cliff dwelling. Most of the Mesa was socked in with fog, but by the time I reached the ticket center, it had cleared nicely. I bought a ticket for the 12:00 o’clock tour

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I only drove 150 miles today. Mesa Verde NP is getting ready to turn down for the winter -closed campground, closed visitors center, and only one guided tour. It takes several hours to drive the park and see all the ruins. I spent a long time at the museum and climbed down to one of

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Today I visited Petrified Forest NP. The visiters center has lots of information about prehistoric animals and vegitation and a walk through scattered remains of petrified trees. The rest of the park is mostly a long drive, spaced with turnouts to view the colors of the Painted Desert, which by the way encompases all the

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I left Phoenix about 10 am and headed north on highway 87. In less than an hour, the road climbed higher into the foothills of the Arizona Central Mountains and I entered Tonto National Forest.  At the time, I found it difficult to warm to the idea that a National Forest included desert and brust,

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On the second day of our hike, I realized that this was going to be way harder, way harder than anything I had ever done before. The path led up through the mountains into the rarefied air of increasing altitude, over granite boulders arranged for erosion control in a cruel stairway with treads knee-high, switch-backing

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