Monday, June 15, 2009

June 13--Race Day! June 14--Mesa Verde

The race was another one of those crazy, last minute, put it all together events. The race began with a 20-25 minute inflatable kayak portion followed by was boys versus girls and a few other a 1.5 mile run and 1.5 mile scooter portion. It teams too. Eric and Kristi did the kayak portion, John and I did the run, Amanda and Bill did the scoot. Bill has been riding a Razor for years, but the girls team needed to be a little more creative. The only rule was it couldn't be motorized or have a chain (no bikes). Because we didn't want to buy a scooter just for the event and some people have a little bit of morals about buying for the event and promptly returning, we ended up removing the chain of a bike. The boys took first place, which consisted of a spray painted trophy and a T-shirt. The girls took fifth, which was not last. Phew! Eric and I celebrated by doing laundry.

In the morning, Sunday, we rolled out of Durango. The goal was Gallup, NM. I like to call it Gid-E-Up, NM, but that's not what the sign says. We didn't make it. Instead we detoured to Mesa Verde National Park. We ditched the motorhome at the entrance and took the motorcycle along the curvy mountain road. The ancient Puebloian cliff dwelling ruins were built in a hundred year period beginning in late 1100 AD. No one knows why these people who once roamed the mesas moved to the cliffs or why after a hundred years they left the cliffs, but the dwellings were well protected for hundreds of years by the dry climate and the protection of the cliffs. Many artifacts were recovered from the ruins and can be seen in the museum. There are several tours available for $3 pp that allow you to walk through the dwellings with a guide and view the different rooms, kivas, and tunnels throughout. Eric and I took a tour of the Balcany House. This involved climbing a 32 foot ladder and crawling through a really small tunnel. It lasted about an hour and was really fun. Our biggest mistake was not bringing any food (okay, we brought gunny worms) into the park. We didn't realize that the closest cool stuff was 23 miles away. We finished our trip with a tram ride, which didn't require walking (good because very tired after fasting all day). Our tram driver was very entertaining. We learned that the horses within Mesa Verde were from the plains (not wild). The park built a giant wall to keep the horses out. Their biggest mistake was that some horses were in when they built the wall. Now, they are trapped. The baby horses are now considered wild! The park contains over 140 horses now and they envision a future over-inhabitation problem. Apparently the ponies don't care if they trample archeological sites.

1 comment:

  1. I guess that means you will always keep a food pouch ready for diversions.

    I went to Mesa Verde as part of a high school trip of the SW- we got to explore all over, there were ropes but no guides or special trips. It was fabulous.There were 16 of us from BHS and Sehome and we had to have a specialty- mine was music and I found out lots about the old cowboy ballads and such.