Our last day in Colorado

Trip Start May 11, 2012
1
6
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Trip End Jun 08, 2012


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What I did
Mesa Verde

Flag of United States  , Colorado
Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18/12 – We left  Salida at 7 AM headed for Mesa Verde National Park, hoping to make it there by noon so we could spend the afternoon viewing the sights.  We got there  just at noon.  And we managed to stop a number of times on the way to look at the scenery. 

We are so glad that we decided to take the scenic routes. The sights are so incredible in Colorado. Mountains, deserts, valleys, mesas…dramatic altitude changes, incredible photo ops, it boggles the mind.  This is why we are taking this trip…to see the majesty of the US that we often take for granted…and so far she is not disappointing us. 

 When we left Salida, I thought the Rocky Mountains were behind us. I looked to the east and the sun was rising behind snow capped ridges, visible to us in a purple haze. But I was wrong.  There were many more mountains to come.  They soon became visible on the horizon, standing between us and our destination. And the road took us right up into them, through a mountain pass that rose upwards well over 10,000 ft. and down the other side. We went around them, over them and through them, a few times. And the vistas were to die for. I took a lot of pictures. 

 We followed the Rio Grand River for a  while. Yes, it surprised me, too. I think of it as the river that divides Texas from Mexico, but now I know that it originates in Colorado. We passed through South Fork, where many of the homes were perched high on cliffs and ledges. And many other small towns like Pagosa, where the downtown was right out of the 1950’s. And the earth changed, from red sandy soil with yellow grass and sage brush,  to rich black soil in fertile green valleys,
then back to desert scrub, where crops grow only with the help of sprinkler systems as long as the fields are wide. Clover. I think they were growing clover.  I tried asking someone what it was, but he was not a local, either. It sure looked like clover to me. 

 We arrived at Mesa Verde around lunch time and, after having something to eat, we drove to the Indian ruins…cave dwellings of 700 years ago, built into the sides of cliffs, which could only have been accessed by water. But there was no longer any water there, only a rich green valley carved out of the earth by the river that once ran through it. The walls of those canyons reminded me of the Grand Canyon, on a smaller scale. The drive was again a challenging one, up into higher altitudes, with many hairpin turns working around the mesas and hills, to the sacred grounds where the “Indians” once made their homes. 

 And the word for today is MAJESTY. This country of ours is majestic in every way that the mind can imagine. 

 We arrived in Cortez, CO around 4 PM. And, anxious to have dinner in a restaurant, we spent a half hour deciding how to make Beamer safe from himself. Steve moved half of the furniture in the room over to the door and made a barricade that he could not penetrate…and getting through it to get out of the room was a challenge. But we did.   And when we returned, he was sleeping peacefully in a comfortable easy chair. Safe and sound.

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Comments

Scott on

Photo 3 is just incredible. I would like to have that as a framed picture.

Art on

Mesa Verde is a place Mary and I would love to see. Someday....
I loved the photos, especially #3.

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