We ended up based in Cortez, CO at Sundance RV Park.
Nice folks there, and we were centrally based for what we did.
First day was Hovenweep National Monument.....Anasazi Ruins that are remote and less commercialized than Mesa Verde, and much less excavation and restoration.
Next say, took a day trip to Black Canyon....I have never been to a National Park that didn't desere the name "National Park" for a reason. There is some wow factor at Black Canyon. Hwy 147 through Telluride on the way up....road construction everywhere, long waits, signs displayed that the road was closed for work at night, one lane in places with flagmen during the day and delays delays delays. Came nack through Ouray, Silverton, Durango to Cortez to complete the loop.
Last day, Mesa Verde, the Wetherill Mesa section of the park. Late in the day lightning struck outside the park to the West in the Ute Reservation and they had quite a fire of some 100 acres in short order with the fire crowning in the junipers. I guess the firefighters got it contained by morning because there was on smoke as we left the area the next morning headed towards Cloudcroft, NM.