Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mesa Verde National Park

We had another late start because someone who shall remain nameless needed her beauty sleep. P and I are early risers but SS is a champion late riser.  Shortly before this trip my doctor prescribed sleep medication because I am getting very little sleep. The first night I took it I slept three hours, and the second night (last night) I slept for four hours.  That is not enough even at my advanced age, maybe we need to try something else.

We liked these teepees and arrows.

We first saw this on our way to Durango and it really cracked me up. Someone was wronged and took the best possible revenge. We wonder what is the story behind the toxic mess.

We knew there was rain predicted for 1:45, and were surprised when we arrived at 11:30 and were greeted with flurries.

Spruce Tree House, one of the most popular Pueblo Indians cliff dwellings. It is temporarily closed for tours due to structure instability.  The tours do not start until May, but we would not have been able to partake.  I think it would have been a great experience for P, but there is no way SS would endure the rigorous hike, and thirty two foot ladder climb.

We are not complaining because the purpose of this trip is to introduce SS to the fact that there is more to life than Disneyland, Knott's, water parks and Legoland. For me it has been fun introducing P and SS to something new.

So far P has dubbed Grand Canyon as a hole in the ground, and Monument Valley as rocks. Today he thanked me for bringing them to look at houses built in rock. P is doing really well, I wonder what else will come out of his mouth in the days to come.

One can't really trust weather reports, but it was fun nonetheless. 

SS was certainly tenacious about trying to get flurries in her mouth.  She is such a silly girl sometimes.  We all had coats we could have used but for some reason decided to freeze our butts off rather than go through the trouble of changing. 

P stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures of these wild turkeys. He was about to get SS's camera to take pictures for her when I told him there were quite a few cars behind us. As we drove on P looked on the rear view mirror and did not like what he saw. He asked "How can people not be as excited as me about turkeys?" That's right, the Philistines behind us did not stop and blocked traffic to take pictures. Maybe they only get excited about turkeys when they are baked, stuffed, and with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.

The Cliff Palace, and yes tours of this humble abode are available in May. It's amazing to think of people actually living in these dwellings. When we stopped at the museum, SS was fascinated by the models depicting life back then. We were pleased that she was interested in learning more on her own. Intellectual curiosity is valued around here, although sometimes we act as though we are devoid of said trait.

We had to take a picture of SS surrounded by a little bit of snow. We drove to other viewing areas but the snow made it impossible for us to see anything. After four stops we had to face that Mother Nature was working against us today.  P was worried about the drive down and felt it was best to head back.  It was a wise decision because half way down we encountered a snow plow on its way up.

We loved SS's reaction to her Baba's silliness. P is always doing silly things for his baby girl's benefit. 

That is quite a smile for someone who is about to be strangled.

We were indoors only ten minutes and during that short time the snow amped, and we got pelted. It was fun but a reminder we are lucky to live in California.

SS asked for a picture because she certainly wants to share with her classmates.

Once again a good decision to leave the park. We can always return during May because there is no way I would be there in the heat of summer like last time.  It's funny that I'm complaining about the lack of visibility because it actually worsened.

We were only two miles into New Mexico when a deer hit us. The creature just attacked us from the median.  I never saw the deer, P told me he saw it from the corner of his eye then boom. We are incredibly grateful that we are not physically hurt. SS is one hot mess and this incident is really going to make her fearful for a long time. I'm thankful P kept control of the van, and let me tell you it was quite the feat, because that was one hard hit. I had some serious flashbacks to being hit by an elk at two in the morning, in an area with no lights, and a van full with seven kids I had been called to detain. That was years before SS came home and it still messes with my mind.

We lost the side mirror, but the doors are still functional. Another thing to be thankful for is that it did not hit the front of the van. That and the air bags did not deploy, because a few days before departing the air bag came on. So there is a problem with the air bags and now we know what it is. Damn suicidal deer.  

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