Category: Cortez, Colorado

A Day in Mancos and Cortez, Colorado

Friday, August 5, 2022

We waited until 9:00 to go to Mancos. I had to get a newsletter out and needed WIFI, so we went to the Mancos Library. There were picnic tables and chairs on a covered porch where we found outstanding WIFI. This area is open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week!

by Joseph Kerski

I was able to download two big updates – Luminar Neo and Proton VNP, both of which I use a lot. I sent the newsletter to the board for review and got replies from two. Then I uploaded two days worth of pictures for the blog. Martha went for a haircut, and then caught up on some things. 

By 11;30 we had had enough and walked a block to Main Street. We went into Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters. The nice owner told us about her different coffees, describing the pros and cons of each. I wish I had recorded it.

Mancos, Colorado

James, in Ace Hardware, had told us about an art store, which was nice. I bought some cards explaining petroglyphs somewhat. Across the street was a very good Indian arts and antiques store, Kilgore American Indian Art. Kelly greeted us and told us not to touch the bowls. She told us how they were made, using no machines. They are all fashioned by hand, using plant-based dyes and local clays.

Kelly grew up working in Kilgore Trading Post, that her parents owned

There was a lot of antique jewelry and baskets. Martha went to the rugs, and after some discussion with Kelly, bought a pretty rug. Kelly grew up working in her parents trading post, …… She speaks Navajo and Hopi and understands their symbols and beliefs. She is an appraiser for other organizations. She photographed the rug and will send a description of the meanings of the symbols.

Martha bought this rug

We went across the street to Columbine’s for lunch and read a local magazine. Louis L’Amour lived here on a big farm, and many of his stories were about this area. 

We drove 17 miles west to Cortez, stopping at an auto parts store to get some engine coolant for the truck, then drove to a crazy welded art field that James told us about. In a pasture in front of his house, he has made figures of all sorts from scrap metal and paint and a good sense of humor.

It had gotten hot, about 90o. I pulled over to call Sirius AGAIN! My weather app isn’t working, and I think it’s pretty essential to be able to get a weather report. Same story, different day. “I am so sorry for your trouble Mr. Wall. Let me get all your information and I will refresh your radio.” Same result – it doesn’t work. 

Back at camp, we had a light dinner and enjoyed the first fire of the trip. At the top of the mesa, the temperature had dropped to 72 degrees.

Business in Cortez, Colorado

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 

A store at the Morefield Campground has all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast as well as breakfast burritos starting at 7:00. two nice, older guys were working the kitchen. Their computer wasn’t working, so I went to the store to pay. I had the burrito and Martha the pancakes, both of which were very good. 

Shower house and laundry

We went down the mountain and turned west on 160, and found Suburban Propane Supply. They didn’t open until 8:00 and we were a couple of minutes early. Soon a man got out of his car and bid us good morning. He looked a lot like John, my great lab man. He was a retired Air Force airplane mechanic and was born and raised in Cortez and had returned after seeing a lot of other places. 

He asked where we had been, and Martha told him. His eyes lit up when he heard Monument Valley. “Did you go to John Wayne Point?” He is a big John Wayne fan and has (or had) all of his movies until he got divorced. It seems his wife kept some of them. John Wayne was in 250 movies! He talked about the first one, where he just made an appearance.

He said the climate has gotten a lot more temperate here. When he grew up, the snow would get up to your waist, but they don’t have snows like that any more. We asked where a car wash was, and he told us “Third stop light, on your right.”

I gave the truck a much-needed wash, and will return with the trailer Sunday on our way to Canyon of The Ancients. Next up was a haircut. We went into Cortez Barbering where a father and son worked. The son had recently returned to town. Both are excellent barbers!

Next stop was Ace Hardware for a better mouse trap. We picked up a pack rat at Chaco Canyon, and our cheap mousetraps weren’t good enough. He was picking them clean without tripping the spring – at least I hope it is a he! I would learn at Mesa Verde that mice proliferated at these ancient places where they stored so much corn and other grains in rooms. Ancestors of these ancient mice are still there!

This is a big Ace Hardware with a lot of help all over the store. I went to the bathroom while Martha selected a couple of traps. There was one sticky trap that looked good. Our mouse jumps over a short wall into a recessed area, so it would be a good place to catch him.

We asked about breakers, since I might replace a second breaker that is heating up. James took us to the area with breakers, but I wasn’t sure if it was the same as the one I changed.

It was such a nice store, we wandered around looking for possible things we needed. We kept running into James, who was most helpful. Martha asked him about our mouse trap selections, and he offered to show us his favorite. He said the sticky one is good, but then you have to somehow kill the mouse. Good point. 

He asked us where we were from and what we had seen. He worked for AT&T for his career, then moved here to be near the grandchildren. He told us to be sure to see the trading post down the street where they have high end Indian things. 

Taking James’ advice, we walked a block or so to Notah-Dineh Trading Company and Museum. Notah is what the Ute tribe calls themselves, and Dineh is what the Navajo call themselves. It is a very cool store with high quality things and a lot of history. The best we could do was to take in as much as we could in an hour, because we had a tour at Mesa Verde at 2:30.

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