Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day at Mesa Verde

 After years of being taunted by the amazing ruins of Mesa Verde on calendars, screensavers and posters, I was finally able to see them for myself up close and personal!  I've been wanting to visit the Park for years and I'm happy to say, WE DID IT and it did not disappoint.

 We spent our long weekend near Purgatory Ski Resort at Cascade Village Condos.  The view of the Needles from our condo was unbelievable and the boys enjoyed hanging out on our little deck every morning and night overlooking all the trees.  We headed up to Mesa Verde first thing and ended up spending two days there because there was so much to see, and also because we couldn't get tour tickets for the same day.  It worked out though and we were happy to see more of the sites on our second day along with the tour of Cliff Palace (uh, wow!). The sites were truly amazing and the boys had lots of questions and we discovered lots of answers.  They just love the Junior Ranger programs the National Parks offer and couldn't wait to add this one to their repertoire.  The highlight for me was the amazing tour of Cliff Palace.  It's the biggest of the sites and is a wonder to behold.  I wish I could have seen it 800 years ago with all the plaster and paint in tact.  I bet it was beautiful!  And I marvel that they could dry farm on the desert mesas...if I planted seeds in my garden and then just waited for the rains to come and grow them we would never see a single tomato.  Amazing! Our entire family really enjoyed Mesa Verde and had a great time.  Also, I must give credit to the family burro, Corey, who carried Dawson on his back up and down ladders and on trails everywhere.  I offered to take him if he needed a break, but was secretly relieved when he didn't take me up on it. Besides, they had a good think going.  Dawson started saying, Daddy let's ride! or Daddy faster! or my favorite, Daddy, let's fly! which he coupled with extended airplane arms. Daddy the burro was a great time for little D.

We played up at Purgatory for a day too.  We'd promised the boys a hike (even Dawson was begging to go) and after realizing the road was closed for the morning for a bike race, we decided we'd go ahead and hike over to the resort and check it all off with one fail swoop.  The hike itself wasn't hard, but all of the winter run off made for a very mucky trip in some spots.  Beck even lost his shoes at one point trying to leap through a stream/mud puddle.  Yuck.  Everyone was a trooper though and it ended up being lots of fun at the resort.  We rode down the alpine slide.  The boys each wanted to ride up alone, leaving me alone too...their independence is always taking a step forward I guess.  A highlight (especially for Beckett) of the ride down was seeing a little beaver hanging out just to the side of the tracks.  The low point of the slide was when Corey's sled bolted off the track and he crashed, ripping thru the sleeve of his jacket and leaving him with a few war wounds.  Whoops!  While at the resort, Corey and I also did the zip line, and the boys panned for gem stones (bringing home bags of rocks was a surprise favorite), were launched on the trampoline (Asher saluted every time he hit the highest point...hilarious), did a ropes course (with me and lots of my help connecting hooks), and Asher even rode a mechanical bull!  Dawson LOVED his time there because they let us check out a strider bike and helmet which he rode all over the plaza, although his favorite place to ride was up and down the thankfully empty mini golf course.  When we had to check it back in he was so sad, crying "my bike, my bike!".  We made it back to our condo, tired and ready to relax with some dinner and movies and our fantastic view.

We are all sad our long weekend is over.  It was too fun, and too short.  Til the next adventure...

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