Our second stop on last summers Western adventure was The Continental Divide
(not just another John Belushi movie. Kids ask your parents. Or grandparents. Or just click the link.)
We traveled down, or up, well we drove anyway on US50 past abandoned mines to Monarch Pass and decided to stretch our legs.
The cute little gift shop chalet and aerial tram ride to the ridge top of the pass was chilly, even in June,
but it was fun tossing snowballs and scaring mom at the EDGE OF A GIANT CLIFF. Seriously, that is not funny!
We took a hike at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on our way to Mesa Verde
Made it to Mesa Verde and spent the night in a KOA tepee- seriously I have always wanted to do this! I got this neat little collection
of illustrated books with records from my parents as a child that enchanted me with the Mesa Verde area. It had diagrams and paintings
of what day to day life was like for the Ancient Puebloans I just knew I had to go inside one as I looked through my book and
chewed tortilla chips and pretended it was ground Mesa corn. Our NPS Park Ranger did his due diligence warning our group
that the climb to Balcony House was strenuous. People have DIED on this hike, people! Probably. Well, definitely some
injuries and a heart attack. And then he nimbly danced up a 100 foot ladder in about 30 seconds without breaking a sweat.
All joking aside he was a great Ranger, smart, funny and caring, had lots of interesting information and stories for us.
I learned a lot my books never mentioned. It was truly beautiful, and otherworldly.
Fun fact! I found out that the teenager has some climacophobia, fear of falling off high ladders over a GIANT CLIFF
into the rocky abyss of the Mesa Verde valley. Turns out I developed a fear of my children falling off cliffs, or ohmyGodareyoufaintingona100foothighladdercremnophobia this trip!
But we all survived and darn it I got my NPS Passport stamp!
Inside a Kiva!
A few days later, after Mesa Verde, we stopped by beautiful rural rest stops beside trails, and did yoga on the Four Corners.