More glee followed at my first peek of the mountains.
Not a great likeness, but for a solo traveler, the photo ops while driving are scarce. If you value your life, that is. The remarkable thing is that the mountains appeared right around the bend from this sign.
Well played, Colorado!
Aztec Ruins NM
Before leaving NM, I stopped to visit the Aztec Ruins National Monument.
The 900-year-old site was constructed by the Pueblo people in about 30 years - the span of a generation. Amazing when you consider that, without the help of pack animals, the timber and rock building materials came from sites up to 50 miles away.
It's surprising how many structures still exist, well-preserved since excavations began in the late 1800s. Some 400 rooms were built, up to 3-stories high. An impressive achievement.
The restored Great Kiva is stunning and is used today for ceremonies by various Native peoples.
No one knows why the Pueblo people left some 200 years later. But the descendants of the ancestral people maintain that the ruins have never been abandoned.
Because the spirits of the ancestors remain.
I'm spending the night in this mountainous former railroad town in order to stock up on provisions. This will be the last Wal-Mart run for a while. Also made time to get the GDB’s oil changed (she's been such a good girl).
Wow, is Durango ever crowded! When I can see beyond and through the masses though, I imagine it's pretty idyllic.
I suppose it's a result of the summer season, but it’s just mobs everywhere you go. (And yes, I know I am one of the mob). The town has some cute spots but it’s hard even to get a good photo of historic downtown Durango without a tourist shop in the foreground. (And yes, I know I am one of the tourists).
And, like many tourist towns, there are enforced no-overnight-RV-parking ordinances, and that makes me cranky.
I'm looking forward to leaving the heat and the hordes behind tomorrow as I continue up, up, and away.
Also looking forward to joining the caravan!