On the Road to Mesa Verde

There are two relatively straightforward ways to get home from Broomfield — through Missoula or through Salt Lake City. On this trip we decided that we would try something new and visit several national parks I’ve been wanting to visit for years. Unfortunately, it meant driving 4,000 miles to do so.

Instead of heading northwest, we headed southwest to Mesa Verde National Park in the southwest corner of Colorado. Luckily, Tyson and Jen had already visited that part of the state and directed us to the most scenic route.

I couldn’t resist stopping and photographing this huge statue of Jesus (?) overlooking what appeared to be a monastery whose name I managed to forget in the next week and a half.

statue

I doubt I would have noticed it a tall if the scenery hadn’t been so beautiful.

We had a long ways to go to Mesa Verde, but I couldn’t resist pulling over and taking pictures along the way. This shot foreshadowed what we were soon to see in Grand Canyon.

overlookingcliff

If there hadn’t been a substantial fence, I don’t think I would have dared taking this shot with high winds buffeting me.

We drove a few more miles before I had to get another shot to emphasize just how rugged these cliffs were.

pass

After eight hours of driving, I was ready to stop when we got to Durango. Luckily, we found a delightful restaurant called the Himalayan Kitchen. If it had been a little nearer Mesa Verde, I think we would have returned a second night, the food was that good.

Instead, early the next morning we headed out to Mesa Verde for two delightful days. I loved everything, including the architecture of the park buildings.

mesaverdeparkbuilding It seemed almost as much part of the land as the Ancestral Pueblo cliff houses. sprucetreehouse

Unfortunately, a lot of the park, including Spruce Tree House, was closed for the season or for repairs while we were there. Even the campground we stayed in was slated to close the next day.

Even with partial closure, we had two hectic days trying to see as much as we could. Durango’s Himalayan Kitchen

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