Day 6: Navajo Lake to Mesa Verde 7.24.21

Dear Isaac and Maia,

We woke to sunshine after the incredible monsoon the day before. It never got cold during the night, jut everything felt damp inside the tent. The rain cover was drenched – it was like walking past a wet sheet on a close line. It sort of clung to you if you rubbed against it (as in getting out a tent door). Fortunately, I always carry the dog rain coats and I had put them on the pups last night for warmth and dryness That was helpful, because they have to go to the bathroom first thing and it was just soggy and muddy outside in the early AM.

Moki sporting his raincoat (it was Maizzy’s) in the mud at Navajo Lake State Park, NM

Waking up in the tent is interesting with the pack changes. I am quite sure my sleep gets noisier and more restless as I approach awakening. So, of course, the dogs know this. Sazi sleeps with me a lot – and it is like Laurel and Hardy because she sleeps sideways in that bag so she takes up way more space than she needs to. Because of the slope, I found myself wrestling the bag to the top of the tent each time I rolled over. At the same time, I was awake enough to be mindful of rolling on Sazi. When I woke up, Sazi had decidedly moved from the bag so I think it was a rough night for both of us.

Our soaking tent after the monsoon at Navajo Lake State Park, NM

Sazi is often the first one in my face, and this AM was no different. She bows and rolls and does all these silly things to get some attention. Moki is more to the point and in my face as soon as he knows I am awake. And, yes, I mean in my face. Kachina hovers in the corner until things settle a little – she is the shy one.

Kachina huddles in the mud at Navajo Lake State Park, NM

OK, back to the day – First, I sat outside in the sunshine while the tent dried. It didn’t take very long but it did delay our routine. The dogs are now use to the fact that I load the car before anyone eats, so they had to sit in the muddy earth under the table for over an hour – except Moki, who has to be tied to the fire pit or something. The gets so stuck between the table legs that I h nave not been sure how I would get him loose a couple of times, so I keep him away from the tables.

Navajo Dam – where we got stuck in the monsoon yesterday.

Eventually, our mostly dried out stuff was packed, and we were on our way. We visited the Dam before we left on the county road back to Hwy 160. We went through the Ute reservation, and I felt sad remembering that Maizzy’s last camping trip was in this area last fall. I still have days where I yearn to see her sweet, goofy face.  

Maizzy’s last camping trip near Farmington, NM – Sept 2020.

I was looking for a little porch for lunch, but didn’t really see anything before we got to Durango, so I decided to stop in Mancos for food and gas – our last gas-up was Taos. There was some sort of festival going on in Mancos – tons of cars and hard to maneuver to find a lunch spot, but we actually found a little dog friendly porch next to the festival. The dogs were doted on by the waitress and I had a chicken sandwich (not a taco – but full of gluten). The sky was dark and there was some thunder and rain. After yesterday, that made me a little nervous.

Always ambivalent about these signs when returning from a trip – Welcome to Colorado!

By the time we got to Mesa Verde, it was nearly 3 PM. We checked in. I had forgotten that you can find your own campsite once you get there  – the bathrooms and dump stations have wifi. The first site I picked for beauty, but it got flooded during the rain that we encountered while waiting to set up the tent. So, we drove the circle for a drier spot and decided to be next to the bathroom for wifi. The only disadvantage is that I felt like our neighbors were too close and it impacted privacy and drove the dogs a little nuts.

Mesa Verde Visitor’s Center

My plan was to get here early afternoon, not have rain delays, and see the ruins today. Well, it was close to 5 before everything was set up and we headed up the road. We went to the high point turnout and I got some cool photos of the monsoon clouds over Mesa Verde. All the traffic was headed out and I decided that Moki needed a walk before bed and that we could do ruins the following day. And, so, we walked the rather long campground loop, ate dinner, and called it a day. I recalled camping here with my daughters maybe 30 years ago but there were still things I remembered about the campground. Where have the years gone?

Monsoon over Mesa Verde

Love, GMH

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