A Snow Job?Westward Ho, Day 44: Moab, UT, to Cortez, CO
Before leaving Moab (pop. 5,101) this morning, we tracked down a couple of local letterboxes, including a terrific box from Raven's Song commemorating an incident in which her father, tired of having his garden harvested by neighborhood squirrels, began to humanely trap the vegetable thiefs and release them a few miles away. When he became convinced that some of these bushy-tailed pests were the same culprits returning for more of his produce, he began painting the squirrels' tails blue before releasing them. Of course, this made the fellow an easy mark for his neighbor's mischief. The neighbor captured a squirrel on his own property, administered the blue-tail treatment, and released it next door, leaving the hapless gardener convinced that his suspicions about the vengeful squirrels was correct. Not only did we enjoy the amusing story, the container and stamp were fiendishly clever—just a perfect package. (Though we'd love to share a photo, that would be considered a spoiler, and that's taboo in the letterboxing code of conduct.)
As with so many things, 'clear' is in the mind of the beholder. For someone in an area that sees an average of 60 inches of snowfall annually, the idea of a 'clear' road is completely different from a resident of Georgia, which probably doesn't collect a total of 60 inches in 30 years.
|US-491 near Monticello, UT—the 'clear' road|
Continuing southeast toward Cortez (pop. 8,451), we were reminded how a good coating of snow can transform even a mundane scene into something beautiful. Though significant snow had accumulated in the past few days, the road was very clear and dry in this section of Colorado, so we made good time and arrived in Cortez just before noon.
|A farm near Yellow Jacket, CO|
|No locked gates today|
|Mesa Verde park road|
|Elevation: 8,156 Temperature: 22° Visibility: Eh-eh|
After finding a couple of boxes, we were desperately seeking an interesting place to hide the letterbox we brought to leave in the state. Finally we consulted the Roadside America app, where we learned about a local yard art sculpture display using hundreds of mufflers and other spare car parts. Self-taught like most folk artists, Mr. Floyd has been building his gallery since 1993 and paints all his sculptures white. In fact, a sign warns visitors not to sit too long on the benches there lest they get painted white themselves. Whereas the humorous sculptures probably look great in the midst of a grassy field, they were pretty well camouflaged today.
|Some of the residents of Mr. Floyd's exhibit|
|Git along, little dogies!|
More Photos from Today
|Sad remains of some of Mesa Verde's wildfires|
|Some of Mesa Verde's tan rocks visible in the snow|
|Snow adds another level of challenge to finding letterboxes.|
|Cemetery looked pretty in the snow but had no hiding places for a letterbox.|
|Don't look now but your camouflage isn't working.|