Our oldest grandchild, Tyler, turned six on the 1st and our youngest, Gracie, was blessed on the 2nd. We were happy to be part each celebration! But sadly that was the last day of our visit to Arizona…we needed to get back to Colorado.
Beautiful Gracie in her blessing gown
Proud grandparents with Gracie
Proud parents with Gracie, Mike & Aubrey
ALL the Kleinschmidt Kids with proud grandparents! Jacob (18 months) in Dave’s lap, Tyler (6), Emma (almost 5), and Gracie in Roberta’s arms
Our return trip to Colorado took us through Northern Arizona and Southern Colorado. Our first stop was Hubbell Trading Post, a National Historic Site in Ganado, Arizona. John Lorenzo Hubbell started the trading post here in 1870 and by 1880 the Navajo Nation had expanded to engulf the entire trading post and ranch property. In 1965 Congress made Hubbell Trading Post a national historic site with understanding that it would remain a working trading post. (For those of you wondering, yes, John Hubbell is related to the astronomer Edwin Hubble, but very distantly.)
The Trading Post Visitor Center (above)
Inside the Hubbell Home (below)
A scarecrow in the field
The guest hogan
Back porch of the Hubbell Home
Our next stop along the route was the National Monument called Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “shay”) another part of the Navajo Nation. Located in northern central Arizona, it is one of the longest continuously inhabited areas in North America. There are still Navajo people living, farming, and raising sheep in the canyon as they have done for centuries. The National Monument was established in 1931 and includes almost 84,000 acres within the Navajo Reservation.
(Roll your mouse over a photo to see its caption.)
We went back to Canyon de Chelly the next day to see more!
Our next stop on the way back to Colorado was Four Corners and other parts of Northern Arizona. Roberta had been to Four Corners once before – in 1964! – but Dave had never been. It sure was a much different place now than in 1964!!
Our first stop in Southern Colorado was Mesa Verde National Park. We weren’t sure if we really would have time to stop….then our Subaru broke down and we had to wait for parts so it turned out we had PLENTY of time to do some exploring. It was well worth it, in spite of the cost of car repairs! The first tour we took was of the Cliff Palace, located on Chapin Mesa and the largest of the cliff dwellings.
Later in the day we explored Balcony House, a smaller cliff dwelling not visible from the road and by far the most physically challenging cliff dwelling tour!
Still waiting on the car parts…so we headed out to Hovenweep National Monument, which is located on the border of Utah and Colorado. Uninhabited for the last 700 years, these ruins were once home to ancestral Pueblos. We hiked the Little Ruin Canyon, a 1 1/2 mile trail loop.
The car was finally ready so we were able to get back on the road at last. Once we had arrived back in Golden, our RV got a much needed bath!!
We decided to attend the annual LGBT Festival in Denver – which happens to be one of the largest in the US.
This is how Golden got its name.
Roberta took advantage of the beautiful summer weather (and Dave’s long work hours) to get in lots of bike riding. Here she is at the end of the Bike Denver ride. It was an eleven mile ride from a park in downtown Denver to another park just to the south. But knowing that Dave wouldn’t be home from work in time to get her to the starting point, she rode her bike the 17 miles from Golden to the park where everyone met to start the ride. Good riding Roberta!!
Dave spent about 17 weeks working with a construction company that was doing extensive “historical” remodeling in the Colorado gambling town of Black Hawk. One day he took Roberta on a “tour” of the town.