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Hovenweep National Monument

This is already an amazingly great National Park and we’ve only been here a few hours.

If you were looking for the middle of nowhere, Hovenweep is pretty close.   The nearest town (fuel, services, food, etc) is Cortez, about 44 miles away via a bumpy County Road.   The park is in the midst of vast tracts of open desert.   Almost nobody lives in the area.   There are few roads.

And yet, when we pulled in, we were blown away to find a completely modern, accessible, and handsome Visitor Center, and just beyond it, one of the most beautiful campgrounds we’ve ever seen.   I mean, it’s the nicest place we’ve camped since Frisco campground in the Outer Banks.   And best of all, there’s nobody here.

hovenweep-campsite.jpgI mean nobody.   In the 30 site campground, there is one camper: ours, shining brilliantly in the desert sun in space #4 with a gorgeous view in all direction.   In the Visitor Center, there are two rangers and nobody else, so we got extremely personalized service at the desk.   On the Ruins Trail that we hiked this afternoon (2.0 miles), we saw two people who quickly disappeared, and other than that we had the place to ourselves.

And the kicker is that for some strange reason, there’s a cellular signal here.   There’s not supposed to be.   I’m supposed to be offline, disconnected from the Internet.   And yet, when the winds blows right and I hold my breath, I can get a cell phone signal.

This changes everything.   We no longer have to rocket through this park and Natural Bridges (our next stop) because work is piling up.   We can take our time, because every morning and evening I can get online and keep up with business.

When the stars are telling you something, you’ve got to listen.   It’s $10 a night to stay here, the weather forecast is for sunny mid-80s all week, we have a gorgeous spot and our water tank is full.   It all adds up to: “STAY”.   So we’ll stay for at least two nights and then decide if we want to move on.

It seems almost unfair that we should have all this to ourselves, but I’m not complaining. The ancient ruins all around here are fascinating, Emma’s doing another Junior Ranger program, we’re luxuriating in the dry air, and there’s plenty to do in the area.   This is the type of situation that we live for.   It makes all those Wal-Mart nights and borderline campgrounds and high fuel prices worthwhile.   May as well enjoy it.

6 Responses to “Hovenweep National Monument”

  1. Lou Woodruff Says:

    That sounds FABULOUS!!!! Wish we could join you!

  2. Karen Britting Says:

    Hey Rich, help out your poor, geographically-challenged readers! Can you add the state name in front of the first sentence in your blogs? It will vastly improve my office-chair-traveling! : ) Probably be useful for searches, too.

    Tell Emma that Ken and I sailed her boat on Labor Day – it was soooooo fun!

    Hi Ele!


  3. Zach Woods Says:

    Howdy again –

    Another favorite from my childhood travels with my family in the beat up station wagon!

    Looking forward to more . . .


  4. Rich Says:

    For our geographically-challenged readers: Hovenweep is located in the southeast corner of Utah and the southwest corner of Colorado. It is divided into several “units” (parcels) which are all within a few miles of each other, and surrounded by private and BLM land. The main unit is Square Tower, where we are camped, and it is in UTAH.

  5. terry Says:

    Rich, Hovenweep isn’t the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from there with a good pair of binoculars.
    Do you think you’ll be back home by Oct 1, or thereabouts?

  6. Rich Says:

    We are considering an extension to include the Albuquerque Balloon Festival Oct 4-12, then “home” to Tucson … unless something else comes up.