We woke up to a beautiful day in Cortez, Colorado. We are going to Mesa Verde today. It is only 10 miles to the Mesa Verde entrance from our Hotel. So after a great breakfast at the hotel we packed up and headed there. We stopped at Far View Visitor Center. This is where you can buy self-guided tours, buy tickets to see the big cliff dwellings, and see displays about Mesa Verde and the people that lived here a long time ago.
After we decided what we thought the girls would enjoy we started our adventure. We stopped at Spruce Tree House and took the self-guided tour with the girls. On the way down we saw a baby bird waiting to be feed by its mother. The girls stood and watched the baby bird for awhile. As we walked to the Spruce Tree House we stooped at all the numbered posts to read what was next on the guide. Then we came to the cliff dwelling. It was amazing. The girls thought it was really neat how the Ancestral Puebloans lived in cliff dwellings, all Noah and I thought was how did they live like this with children(this was not as steep or as dangerous as some of the other cliff houses).After the hike back up we stopped in the Chapin Mesa Museum to cool off and look around. The girls picked up a junior ranger application while we were in the museum and filled out the information so that they could receive a badge and become a sworn in junior ranger. They had fill out the questions get it signed and dated by the ranger then they had to raise there right arm and swear to not litter, save water, and recycle.Now that they were junior rangers we drove the six-mile Mesa Top Loop to test out the girls knowledge. On this self-guided drive you can pick and choose where to get out and look. Along this we stopped to see the Pithouse, Square Tower House Overlook, Sun Point Pueblo, Sun Point View(which is one of best spots to see a dozen cliff dwellings) Oak Tree House, Fire Temple and New Fire House, and Sun Temple. The girls had lots of questions about the people that lived here long ago. We tried to bring it to there level of understanding and they were really interested in learning. It was a busy full day at Mesa Verde, but a fun time together as a family. On the way out of the park we stopped over in a tiny town called Mancos where one of my uncles has a burger shop, however they were closed when we got there and had just closed(my uncle was not working there today otherwise he would have stayed open for us). So we drove another 20 min. to Dairy Queen in Durango(Autumn calls it Mango) to eat. After lunch or was it dinner we visited my cousin in my dad's side and his family of an hour or so. It was nice to see him and visit and also let our girls run around and stretch there legs. My cousin has children the same ages as our girls and they had a great time.
We headed back on the road to our final destination in Colorado. On the way we saw about 12 elk and deer on the side of the road. Noah said I was the look out so that we didn't hit any deer or elk while driving. I didn't do a very good job of telling him. I kept telling him after we passed them. We didn't hit a deer or elk, but did hit a red fox. We also enjoyed an amazing lightning storm on our way to my grandparent's home.