Remember when Hunter and I went to Ruidoso, and we stayed the night in Durango on our way back? I mentioned in my blog post that we had determined we were coming back to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad...and we meant it! So on Thursday, September 13th we hit the road.
As it turns out, our previous road trip was probably our last road trip on the bike...at least for quite a while. The more we ride the bike, the more we decide it may not be the way to go. It is so much fun, and I don't regret the trips we've taken. But you know, one big justification for the bike is that it would save us money and we have found this not to be the case. The maintenance costs for our V-Strom pretty much even the playing field when it comes to cost comparison with a good, economy car. After the previous road trip we had to replace the chain on the bike, which set us back about $275.00. And the tires will need replacing before much longer, which is another $300-ish. So along with the not-so-bargain price tag we also have to deal with limited cargo space (i.e. no RC toys or camping gear), super-sore derrieres, other stiff & achy body parts, stiflingly hot riding gear, trapped bugs in the stiflingly hot riding gear, and the fear of death around every corner. And the upside? Well, it's cool. You feel like a real adventurer. And you see more. And probably a few other things that I can't think of right now, but there's got to be more than that...
So anyway, I digress. The whole point I'm getting at here is that we jumped in the car and didn't know what to do with ourselves. We had music we could actually hear! A climate-controlled environment!! (Not that it stopped me from whining...) Cupholders and snacks!! My latest novel! And the best part of all? NAPS FOR RACHIE!!!!! Praises!!! Needless to say, we were in hog heaven. Or something like it, anyway.
We drove a lot...I don't remember much because I was either reading or sleeping...and at some point we arrived at Mesa Verde. Here are some sweet shots:
It is so amazing to consider the amount of work these communities required, and the stamina and fortitude they must have had. It sure made me conscious of my lack of these attributes, and reminded me how lucky I am to have such luxuries as restaurants and grocery stores. I look at the incredible structures that have survived for centuries, and feel so far removed from its inhabitants. We took a tour to the cliff palace and our tour guide pointed out the "chinking" in the mud between each brick. Chinking refers to the small rocks sometimes placed in the mud to strengthen it and stretch it further so they used less. Mud, that is. And when I looked at those tiny rocks placed strategically and aesthetically, I was struck by the personal touch of this thoughtful effort. What was going through the young woman's mind as she carefully pressed each pebble into the thick mud, waiting for her young husband to spread another layer before she added the next? Or was it an older man who was relegated to this task, his strength too long spent to be of much use elsewhere in the community? Maybe it was the heat, or the Santa Ana winds, but I found myself pondering the philosophical and existential wonders of these mysterious people.
After my need for pensive soul-searching resolved itself, we journeyed on to Durango. We are looking forward to a gorgeous train ride in the breathtaking mountains of Colorado. I am also anxiously awaiting news of Esther's impending bundle of joy. More to come!!