Black Canyon behind me, sun appearing and melting the snow, great breakfast from Starvin’ Arvins … so south I head. My destination, Cortez, Colorado. A tiny little spot just outside Mesa Verde National Park.
I weaved between the mountains, stopping for gas and the occasional photo to send back to my lovely. She once asked where I would love to live and I answered Colorado. She didn’t get it till she saw these pics.
No, she’s not packing her bags. But if I have influenced anything in her life it is an admiration for the mountains. She had never seen mountains before our honeymoon in Cashiers, NC. Colorado peaks differ from those in the Blue Ridge. They are, well, rockier. It’s said the mountains of Virginia are older, smoothed out over time. I don’t know, as I get older I get wrinklier. Nuff said.
Tiny towns and large ranches, cattle and cottages, this place has such a diversity. There is something refreshing about a drive through the mountainous countryside.
Cortez offered authentic Mexican cuisine. I find that at gas stations in Texas, but it was good. As I entered Mesa Verde, I was taken back by the vastness of the park and only one road from start to finish and back again. The museum, visitor center, and stores were closed. But camping was open, so I did visit the general store there.
The trek in and out was filled with sights and history. Traffic was mild so very little stress of too fast or too slow. As I parked, a fellow Virginian pulled over and said it was great to see another from the commonwealth. We chatted briefly but he headed out.
Mesa Verde is known for the Pueblo villages in the side of the canyon walls. Villages older than the Pueblo are there, but these are some of the best preserved sites. The trail and tours were shut down, but one could still walk around a bit. This unique park actually predates the park system. It was preserved long before Teddy starts the NPS.
Wide open spaces. One could fall in love quickly here.
My day wasn’t over. Another 5 hours before sleep. From Mesa Verde I headed to the a Great Sand Dunes. It was there I would walk dessert dunes and see a sunset spectacle. It was there I would get a direct challenge from the Lord. But that’s for tomorrow.
Lesson from this stage of my journey … God’s creative side is way diverse. Beauty comes in many forms.