We were greeted by a 60 degree morning of wonderfulness in Durango. What a beautiful little town! I told the Hubster that I found a perfect vacation home for us there. It was a cute fixer, literally two blocks from main street and when I told him that it was 60 degrees on July 26th, he was tempted to pack a bag and come sign papers. Then reality hit and we passed...what were we thinking????? Anyway, back to Durango. You may have heard of the Durango-Silverton railroad, yes, it leaves from Durango and is a very picturesque journey through some pretty amazing scenery. The train is very (in my humble opinion) pricey, especially given the fact that you can drive to Silverton very easily. My parents vacationed in Durango thirty+ years ago and my mother bemoaned the city's loss of quaintness that she remembers from that trip. Regardless, I found the city to be charming.
Unfortunately, after only a couple of hours of playing tourists, we were packed up for our long push back to Texas. We decided to make one last "tourist stop" first, though and headed to Mesa Verde National Park.
If you visit the Mesa Verde NP website, you will learn: "Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States." Let me just say that your brain may be able to comprehend these facts as they are written and I'm sure you have all seen pictures of the ruins in books or on television. However, your mind cannot comprehend what your heart and spirit will feel when you visit this place. As we walked around the ruins and tried to picture how these ancient peoples built their homes among the cliffs and how they lived and raised their children, I couldn't help but wonder...how the hell did they keep their toddlers from running right off the cliff? Or, as my friend G asked..."how the hell did they keep from falling off of the cliff after a little too much Peyote?"
Well, obviously, the answer to both questions...they didn't always.
When I posted a "check-in" via Facebook that we were in the park, my friend S, asked another question, one that I hadn't even thought of..."could you imagine what the cowboy who first came upon those ruins thought?" Well, no, I hadn't even thought about that but, sadly, had he been a cowboy from our present day, he would have no doubt phoned the Inquirer claiming to have found an alien landing site. Thank goodness this wonderful monument to humanity's past was discovered by a more intelligent people.
Finally, after too short a visit, we were back in the car, this time bound for home. We spent one more night on the road and arrived back home about 8 days and 14 hours and 5540 miles after we left. I do not recommend this crazy pace and I probably won't do it again soon but it was fun.
Thanks for accompanying us on a virtual ride along.
Although this trip has ended, please continue reading this blog, if you have found it interesting, and see what other adventures we challenge.