Saturday, August 02, 2008

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

After visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, then spending most of the afternoon riding the Million Dollar Highway, we were finally ready to call it a day and get to our campground.

We stopped in Durango for gas and to drink some water, it was very hot in town. It’s been a long day and somehow we totally forgot to pick up stuff to eat for tonight and tomorrow morning. We hit the road again, heading west on 160 and had to stop at another gas station near Mancos to pick up some food. From Durango to Mesa Verde National Park was only 40 miles. In no time we were climbing the steep and twisty road through to the park following the signs for the campsite. Had we done some research earlier we might have found out that there was a general store in the park and it was loaded with everything one might need, even good beer.

Ruins Road through Mesa Verde National Park

Many twists and turns heading up the mesa

We were a little worried that arriving so late in the day there might not be any campsites left but Morefield Campground, which is the only campground at Mesa Verde, has 435 sites. At the entrance to the park we were assured that the campground never fills us, not even on the weekends. But as we parked our bikes and walked over to the store to pay for a camping site we found a very, very long line of people doing the same thing we were and only one person working the register. The park seemed packed, the parking lot was full of cars. We waited at least 30 minutes in line to pay for our campsite, but we got one. Well, we didn’t get a site yet, we got a map of the campground and some of the sites were circled. Those were the sites we could camp at.

So off we went to hunt down the best site. After riding in circles we found a good campsite, most were already occupied. The campsite cost $20 which was actually pretty pricey for a plain camp site with no electric or water, but the park did have a lot of perks. There were actual showers here and there were a few restaurants, one of them served an all you can eat breakfast buffet. So it was worth it. And the toilets in the bathroom were flush toilets and there were sinks in the bathroom too - ah, luxury. We unpacked and set the tent up. The ranger stopped by our camp site and we all had a long talk. He gave us a lot of information about the park and the whole area, he also warned us to keep our food locked up on the bikes if possible because there were bears in the park and the park had not installed metal boxes to keep food in yet.

Our campsite at the Morefield Campground

The sun was setting so we walked to get a better view of it. Herds of deer were starting to come out of the woods they just strolled though the campground.

Sunset at the Mesa Verde National Park

Deer at the campground

Third leg of todays ride: 40 miles from Durango to Mesa Verde National Park

The temperatures only dropped in to the upper 50’s overnight, so it was a pleasant night and we kept the rain fly off the tent so we could star gaze from our tent.

No comments: