Mesa Verde National Park

The thing I looked forward to the least on my western adventure is the thing I enjoyed the most.

Scratch that. I didn’t enjoy it so much as I am proud that I did it.

Mesa Verde is home to some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in this country. In fact, it is an UNESCO World Heritage site.

Located in Southwest Colorado, visitors can roam more than 50,000 acres to find important archeological sites and photo worthy vistas. However, if you wish to have an intimate view of the actual cliff dwellings, you have to participate in a ranger led tour.

There are three of these tours. The catch is that you have to be able to a navigate worn stone steps AND climb some ladders.

For one of these tours you must be able to climb 20 foot ladders and the other has 32 foot ladders. The one we chose uses four eight to ten foot ladders to help you in and out of the dwelling area. Did I mention that they’re wooden and resemble Flinstones ladders?

The word chose is rather strong and a bit misleading.

Let’s pause a moment to think about this. I am terrified of heights and absolutely despise ladders.

When I heard about the ladders, I was prepared to jump ship and simply view the cliff dwellings from an observation deck. But my friend quickly shut down that way of thinking. “It depends on what kind of vacation you want to have,” she said. “Do you want to stand and watch other people have fun or do you want to go in and have your own experience?”

That hardly seemed fair. (I giggle about this now).

But we went, we navigated the stone steps and climbed the ladders without any trouble. No need to be nervous at all!

Once in a while, I believe it is healthy to try something that scares you or that pushes your boundaries.

When it was all done and we had climbed out of the canyon, I was quite pleased that I had done it without hesitation, tears or an airlift to safety!

It’s the small victories that make life worthwhile.

4 thoughts on “Mesa Verde National Park

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