We are leaving Cortez and are headed towards Colorado National Monument just outside of Grand Junction, with the ultimate goal to get to Dinosaur National Monument, located in the northwestern corner of Colorado and which spans in to northeastern Utah.
With breakfast down and a second mug of hot coffee we set out at around 11 AM and puts along on Hwy 491 towards Monticello and take the intersection on to Hwy 141 at Dove Creek. The plan is to drive via Naturita and Gateway towards Grand Junction. How long it will take us is of no importance, but are we ever in a hurry? On the map we see that the road is turning and twisting its way north which promises a beautiful drive and many stops along the way. Later in Naturita we find that Hwy 141 as a matter of fact is a Scenic and Historic Highway.
The first leg in our travel north brings us as far as Naturita and this is where we decide to stay the night. As expected we found the road to Naturita to be very lightly travelled, allowing us to stroll at an easy pace and enjoy the scenery to the fullest.
Late in the afternoon we arrive in Naturita where we check in for the night at the High Country RV
Next day at the office we find information on Hwy 141 and take a brochure with us pointing out the different historical places and points of interest along the highway, but often there was, well, nothing to be seen or even at our slow pace we passed the spot without an ability to pull over and take pictures, let alone see the sights for more than a few seconds. Not that it spoiled the fun because the scenery was amazing and we pulled over at many pull outs and scenic view areas.
At mile marker 78.7 we passed a painting of a life sized donkey which was put there in 1955 by a miner who lived nearby in a cave house. Over time the donkey has been painted over in many colors by many people. Wether this is art, graffity or modern time petroglyphs we leave in the middle; Judge for yourself.
Further down the road at the convergance of the San Miguel and Dolores rivers is the Flume reconstruction project, once constructed and used by miners in the late 1880’s. The site is listed as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world by Worlds Monument Fund.
As we approach Grand Junction and are getting ready to find a spot for the night at the Colorado National Monument we decide to traverse this road again at some point in the future but in the opposite direction.