After driving 3,719 miles (from Iowa to Kansas to Colorado to Utah and back again) and hiking 33.2 miles in our magnificent National Parks, we are tired. Leaving Denver around 11:30 am on Wednesday allowed us to arrive in Cedar Rapids at 11:30pm. It was a long day but we still had energy for that one last push. Today...is a different story. My stored up tiredness has hit me and the day has been difficult to maneuver. Exhaustion did not keep me down though! I met with a friend at Brewed Awakening this morning, did a bit of shopping, baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and froze 16 quarts of corn! And now, with a big deep yawn, I complain! But only a bit because we had such a fabulous trip and memories to last a lifetime! I'll show you some photos to share just a bit of the wonderfulness we were able to experience.
Taking off in the rain after a quick stop in Pella to pick up our tent and other supplies.
Next we were off to Mesa Verde National Park to tour cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
While listening to our ranger-guide explain the history and beauty of this place, a rat fell from the rock above and splatted onto the rock floor right in the middle of our group! It presented a grim object lesson as to the problem these rodents present in this national treasure. All were thankful it didn't fall on anyone's head.
A beautiful double rainbow gifted us with beauty as we drove out of the park at the end of the day.
Incredibly long (8 miles round trip), extreme elevation climb (2148 ft), hot, direct sun, lack of enough water, amazing drop offs and rock/concrete pathways made this hike one to remember. The literature told us this hike was not for anyone fearful of heights. What was I thinking when I agreed to this?
Beautiful views, unique canyons, incredible rock formations, fellow hikers, and an occasional breeze blessed us along the way.
Several times I thought I was going to die due to lack of oxygen! The word from my friend, pictured above, "There is no shame in stopping!" Ha. We made it to the top of Observation Point to find this breath taking view of the valley below. We also felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from having done some thing very hard and saw it through to the end. Whew.
More next time.