Fish Mouth Cave
Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
47Trip End Ongoing
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Yes, as Silas said, Sunday was HOT! But before I write about Sunday, I'm going to mention a couple things we did on Saturday. On Saturday we slept in (I think it's only the second time we've slept in on a weekend since we've been here! Whew! No wonder we were so tired!) We had decided to take our time getting ready before heading to Cortez, CO for grocery shopping and possibly hitting the farmer's market if we made it there in time.
Well, we ended up just missing the farmer's market but that was okay...I'm sure we'll make it there one of these days. So we parked downtown and walked to Spruce Tree Coffeehouse- a coffee shop I've been wanting to go to since we moved here. It's in a building that used to be a house right on the main strip through downtown- it was very cute inside. It still had the feel of an actual house with several different rooms with tables and chairs and lots of books- it was very homey. We were headed to the back patio area, but then we passed a little room just big enough for two chairs with a beaded curtain in the doorway so we decided to sit in there- very cozy!
After that we finished up all our 'chores' and headed home. On the way home I wanted to try to take what I thought was going to be a shortcut back to 491 (the road back to Monticello) I wish I had a map of the town to put up here so that this would make more sense...but I've looked at a map since then and, needless to say, I was a little off on my geography of the area. Anyway, it turned out to be kind of a nice drive through the country- that's where the picture of all the weird pipe people came from- it was just in front of someone's house out there- very weird!
Our last stop on our way out of town is always at Mac's Liquor- a liquor store that's about 10 miles out of Cortez (we have to stock up on 'normal' beer before going back to Utah!) So as we were driving on all these backroads I kept saying, 'As long as we don't come out past Mac's, I'm fine with this drive' As we came to what looked like the main road, I couldn't belive it when I saw that we were coming out right at Mac's! It's hard to convey here what my level of excitement was, but I was VERY excited!
Okay, so on to Sunday- like Silas said, we decided to go on a hike at Fish Mouth Cave- as we pulled up at the trailhead we realized how hot it was! It was only 1 mile to the cave, but the trail was pretty overgrown so it took much longer than a mile would normally take. Luckily there were two ruins along the way, so we could get out of the sun for a few minutes at each of them. I was really surprised that the ruins were so intact- but I guess 10 miles of really rough road leading up to it probably helps to keep a lot of people away. As we were leaving one of the ruins I found a pot shard on the ground that's the most detailed piece I've found so far- very exciting! (Of course I left it there- you can only imagine how many pots and artifacts you'd still be able to see today if EVERYONE left things like they're supposed to)
The cave itself was really big- but there was very little left of whatever had once been there. We stayed in the cave for quite a while reading all the names on the walls and resting. I was dreading the hike back, but it turned out to not be nearly as bad as the hike in- but still hot! When we got back to the truck we decided that we would wait until it cools off to do any of the other hikes in the area.
We continued down the road which comes out just south of Bluff and went to Sand Island (the put-in for the San Juan River) to eat our lunch. After resting in the shade for a while we headed to Bluff with hopes of making it to the coffee shop before it closed for a smoothie...no such luck- it was already closed. So we settled for an ice cream sandwich at the store and sat there enjoying the air condiditoning for a while before continuing on. One last stop at a gas station just outside of Blanding brought an unexpected sight- two OLD Model T Fords! All of a sudden one drove around the corner and pulled up to the pump...and then another! I watched the couple who were in the first one get out, then lift up the seat and put the gas nozzle right down into there to fill it up. I went and grabbed my camera then asked the man if it was okay if I took a picture, he said yes and was very nice to answer all my questions.
Me: 'What kind of car is this?'
Man: 'It's a 1917 Model T Ford'
Me: 'So you have to take the seat out to put gas in?'
Man: 'Yep, and to start it you have to crank the handle in the front'
Me: 'Wow! Where are you guys from?'
Me: 'Whoa, you guys drove all the way here?'
I think that was about how the conversation went. We sat and watched as EVERY other person who came up to the gas station did a double take at the cars, then went up to the two couples and asked a series of similar questions. They must be used to that. We were ready to leave, but I really wanted to stay and watch when the man started the car- I'd never seen anyone start a car like that before. The man put the seat back in, the woman got in, and then he walked to the front of the car and gave it a crank and it started right up. Cool! We caught up with them down the road a ways and I took another picture- It really amazed me not just that these cars were almost 100 years old, but that they would drive them so far! Amazing!