Aber and Out West: Mesa Verde National Park

Our first two nights were spent camping at Mesa Verde National Park.  Jay had never been and I hadn't visited since I was a young child.  The campground was located on the top of the mesa and equipped with bear boxes for our food.  We took every precaution and managed to avoid the bears, though the deer felt at ease moseying through our camp.  We participated in two ranger led tours of the more famous Pueblo dwellings of Balcony House and Cliff Palace.  Though we're not usually ones for group tours it was exciting to climb up and down the wooden ladders and through the narrow passageways of the pueblos.  We were also pleasantly surprised by our first interaction with the park rangers leading the group.  They were so knowledgeable and really made the tours worth while for the minimal fee of $3.  We also did self guided tours of Spruce Tree House, Far View House, and walked the Petroglyph trail.

In an odd coincidence, I was admiring some shell fossils that appeared in a rock ledge on our Balcony House tour when a woman came up to look at them sporting a scallop shell necklace.  Upon complimenting  her necklace we discovered that she had bought it in Santiago, Spain after walking the Camino.  Not only did she walk the entire Camino, she did it in September of 2012 starting only 8 days prior to us.  Now what are the odds of that?  Later that day while walking the Petroglyph trail we round a corner to the summit and found her again perched on a high rock ledge overlooking the mesa.  Here we all sat for some time enjoying the views and recollections of each of our caminos.  There were warm feelings all around at the odd circumstance that brought us together and we left Mesa Verde the next morning excited for what lay ahead.

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