Southwest USA Retirement Trip
29 Days – 6,500 Miles – 19 States
7 National Parks – Several State Parks
1 Trillion Insects Squished by Car Windshield
From 108 Degrees to Snow
From 282 Feet Below Sea Level to 12,000+ Feet
Bison, Elk, Prairie Dogs, Lizards, Wild Horses
Elvis, Aliens, John Wayne Westerns
Walking In The Footsteps of Forrest Gump
Two signs up along the Visitor Center viewing platform.
Apparently, this was one of John Wayne’s favorite locations to film Western movies.
BLUFF FORT, UTAH
Bluff Fort was built in 1880 by a group of Mormon settlers. Over 70 families (250 people) answered the call
to establish a mission in this area known to be a refuge for lawlessness. They were to be a buffer
for the pioneers already settled here, as well as establishing law and order and
maintaining friendly relations with the Native Americans in the area.
Bell on the church building. Another photo that I like better in Black and White.
Back on the road!
OK – SPOILER ALERT
(Don’t read the following if you are sentimental about this marker)
From the National Geodetic Survey Website
Nonetheless, there remains the question of how close the Four Corners monument is relative to its intended location. In fact, there is a discrepancy between the actual location, which we know to a high degree of accuracy, and our best knowledge of where it was intended to be located. But, instead of a 2.5-mile discrepancy, as reported in the initial news items, this offset is in fact only about 1800 feet, or less. Not only is the offset only about one-tenth of the alleged location error, it is in the opposite direction; the intended monument location is west of the actual monument. There is, however, uncertainty in precisely quantifying the relationship between the intended and actual monument locations due to changes, since 1875, in some technical details of the geodetic reference systems utilized. The actual offset might in fact be considerably less than our estimate.
From a Conde Nast Traveler article by Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy fame)
Unfortunately, 19-century surveying technology wasn’t precise enough to follow the meridians and parallels precisely. The Utah-Colorado state line, for example, wanders a mile and a half away from the legislated border at one point. The Supreme Court ruled in 1926 that the initial survey should remain the official border, even where it was screwed up, but the fact remains that Four Corners is not where Congress tried to put it in 1863. The real spot, we can now see with GPS, is 1,807 feet to the west. But there aren’t any souvenir stands up there, if you’re trying to buy a blanket.
Tomorrow, we will be driving 15 miles east to visit Mesa Verde National Park and see the cliffside dwellings, then returning back here.
Thanks for joining us for today’s adventure. Hope to see you tomorrow.
Mileage Today: 167 Miles
Trip Total: 4,031 Miles