A Day of Breakages….

The first and most minor breakage of the day was the discovery that the coffee whizzler (Bodum milk frother) had given up the ghost… So my morning coffee wasn’t quite to the usual standard. Mind you, I was lucky to have any coffee at all, being reduced to a couple of free sachets I’d grabbed from the airport hotel having mistakenly bought ground coffee instead of instant at the supermarket in Moab yesterday. A quick stop on the way out of town soon remedied that, together with a couple of items we’d forgotten altogether when doing the shopping…..

We headed off South towards the Needles area of Canyonlands National Park, an unexpectedly long drive from Moab given that we could see it from the other part of Canyonlands the day before yesterday…. Mark was very disappointed to learn that he could only count Canyonlands once on his Savings list as entry to the National Parks is valid for 7 days so today’s visit would be covered by the Savings we made when we visited the other part of Canyonlands on Thursday.

Note for those who didn’t follow our previous blog: for the past 2 years Mark had been keeping a close record of the “Savings” we’ve made from our membership when visiting National Trust properties. He’s doing the same thing here with our America the Beautiful Pass, which cost 80 dollars and gives us free access for a year to all of the U.S. National Parks….

I thought I’d take a pic of his Savings list now before he turns the page:

Mark would like it to be known that this is “proper accounting”; I am sure that the accounting and finance academics reading this will be duly impressed….

As we drove along the road towards the visitor centre, a mule deer jumped out in front of the van we were following. We saw it bounce down the side of the van, land in a heap on the road, then struggle up and head off back into the vegetation at the side of the road with one leg clearly broken. The least fixable break of the day and there was nothing we could do…

Whereas at the Island in the Sky part of the park we were on top of the mesa, at Needles we were at a lower level among the canyons. We saw some great petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock, covering a 2000 year time period and several local cultures up to around 1300AD.

We had a look in the visitor centre then drove on to the farthest viewpoint for lunch. Cue the third breakage of the day (hopefully they do only come in threes). Chewing on a biscuit, Mark suddenly spat out a large chunk of tooth. The inside face of one of his teeth has completely come away, exposing a large chunk of filling and, unfortunately, the very sharp end of a screw (yes, the kind they sell in B&Q, you can even see the thread on it) from some previous dental work. He’s now struggling to eat without impaling his tongue on said screw….

We had a good look at Needles before continuing on to Monticello for the night.

I particularly liked Wooden Shoe (i.e. Clog to us) Arch….

On our way out of the park we stopped to look at an ancient Puebloan granary dating back to the late 1200s (they were only semi-nomadic so used granaries like this one to store corn etc):

We’re currently two days ahead of our rough schedule, which itself had four spare days built into it to allow for any mishaps. The revised plan is to add a visit to Hovenweep National Monument (between Monticello and Cortez) tomorrow rather than dashing on to Mesa Verde. We can then stay in Cortez tomorrow (Sunday) evening; that way we can get Mark down to the local witch doctor first thing on Monday morning to see whether he’ll have to be put down or they can do something for him (if we’d known this was going to happen we could have picked up a suitable pair of pliers at the ACE Hardware Store in Green River….). We can always do Mesa Verde as a day trip from Cortez, so if we have to hang around for a few days whilst medical science wonders at the inside of Mark’s mouth, it won’t be a problem….. Until then, the biggest challenge is working out what he can have for tea tomorrow night that’s suckable……