Our next stop would be in the town of Durango. We picked this location because it was within a few miles of Mesa Verde which is one of Colorado’s four National Parks. We also found a great campground in Durango called the Durango Riverside Resort. It would turn out to be our favorite camp of the trip. As we pulled into new campsites it was always a challenge to keep Kayla safe as we set up camp again. The girls would be in charge of Kayla and soon found it was fun to play in the RV front window. Kayla loved standing against the glass and the two big girls turned it into a make believe adventure.
Our RV site was directly riverside so the big kids were able to climb down the little hill to go play in the river. We were lucky to be located at a point in the river with a shallow wading area for fun and safe play. However, the hill was just challenging enough that it was too hard to maneuver with Kayla in hand. No problem. We just strapped her in at the top of the hill with some snacks and she had the best view in the house.
The event for the next morning would be Mesa Verde National Park. We bought tickets to see the Cliff House. It is one of the larger and more popular cliff dwellings in the park. We got to our scheduled tour a bit early so we parked the RV and made lunch. One of the perks of Rv’ing.
As we waited for the park ranger Sydney asked to take a few pictures with our camera. Here is one she took of the family. I think it turned out pretty good for her first try.
Kayla had the best seat in the house for the tours. As she was strapped up high on Dad’s back complete with her very own shade umbrella. As we passed by people they all had to say something to the fact of how nifty our back pack was and how they had never seen anything like that before. Which was funny to us because where we live these things are a must and owned by everyone. It must be a Front Range Colorado thing. I can imagine they wouldn’t be as handy without the nearby trails. Nevertheless, Kayla was the envy of the entire crowd.
As the ranger arrived we headed down the rocked pathway to the Cliff House. There were lots of stops as the ranger gave us information about the dwellings and answered questions. This is when we realized Kayla is only happy in her backpack when moving. So we unstrapped baby as we toured the actual ruins. At one point we noticed no people were behind us so we grabbed a quick photo of Kayla with the Cliff House as her background.
The ancient pueblos who lived here would farm and hunt on the mesa top above the homes which meant they had to climb up and down the slick sandstone with their hands and feet. Lucky for us the park system installed a set of sandstone stairs and ladders for our ascent. For safety we strapped Kayla back into her backpack so Daddy could have his hands free for the climb. Here is Dad and Kayla near the top of the last ladder. I think Dad was milking how heavy Kayla was just a bit.
Next we went over to one of the smaller dwellings for a quick self guided tour. A nice lady offered to take a family photo for us.
After this dwelling we decided to call it quits and head back to the campground. Once there we decided to let the kids chill out at the playground and swimming pool for a bit. Kayla wanted nothing to do with the actual playground. But she did have a blast on this picnic table and a bottle of Vitamin Water. Ah, the little things in life.
After dinner Daddy set up a campfire so the girls could roast marshmallows. Babies and fire and dirt and rocks don’t mix well so we confined Kayla to her play pen and all relaxed by the fire.
The next morning we took some more photos by the river as we packed up to say goodbye to Durango.
On the way out we saw this on the side of the road and decided we’d better stop for all the roadside attractions that Durango had to offer. This was just one more of many hot springs in the area.
Video of our time in Durango.
Video from Mesa Verde National Park.
The Durango activities scored a thumbs up for the kids. Mesa Verde was definitely a gotta see someday if you haven’t already. And I’m sure we’ll be back to tour more dwellings in the future. But, for now its pack up and move on!