The Blog

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mesa Verde tourists pedal to Durango

I woke early and looked out the window of the van to see a huge cloud bank closing in on us. We huddled together changing our plans and preparing for riding into Durango in the cold and rain. Within about half an hour it was snowing and we were not feeling elated. The view up to Mesa Verde looked dreary and cold so we ate our breakfast and prepared for the worst.
Almost suddenly, the sky turned blue as the storm wing passed over us. Our moods lifted like magic and we made our way up to Mesa Verde where we did a tour of the Cliff House with Germans, Italians and Americans. I felt like a real tourist and was reminded how lucky we are to have created this trip in such a way that most of our experiences are much more personal.
We visited another ruin (Spruce Tree House) with a busload of Japanese tourists, checked out the very nice museum and hit the road by 2:30 for the 40 mile ride to Durango. We have left the Navajo winds behind and we had to work! What a shock! The road and the scenery were great but the driver's were less considerate that those on the reservation and there was a lot more traffic.
Back to the real world, I guess.
We had a great hill down into Durango and Catherine survived it without too much stress. Without too much braking, we were able to hold our speed to under 35 mph although I let it go occasionally and got up into the low 40's.
When we arrived in Durango, we found our way to the Johnson's house who are graciously hosting our visit here. They are a family that we met through Camp Unalayee. The summer camp where I went as a child, where my kids are going this summer and where Catherine's children spend many great summers during their childhoods and where Catherine's youngest will be a counselor this summer. Camp Unalayee creates a community of people who are connected in a similar way to the Navajo clans. We all share a love for experiencing life in the woods and mountains with very little in the way of creature comfort distractions. All the camp people we meet are delightful, warm and adventurous souls who lives are enriched by frequent contact with the natural world around us.

Tourist Catherine heading down to Cliff House
It was snowing two hours earlier!
Cliff House
Sean soaking up information from the Ranger
Bike rack in Mancos - Colorado is bike country


  1. So glad you made it to Durango safely. I always had trouble making my old Honda go UP that last hill you came down... I'd meant to be there this week for work, and surprise you, but Sweden has me still here, working away in preparations. Sorry to miss it, but have a fantastic stay!
    Enjoy a Mexican Logger from Ska... it should be in season right now.

  2. ah, the weather of the southwest & mtn country! what a wonderful experience you are having. spreading the word of sustainability, going on the adventure of a lifetime, meeting interesting people & seeing the all the natural beauty in our land. mesa verde is pretty amazing, isn't it!?