Day 347 – Top 10 Things to do in Cortez

Cortez, Colorado is a sleepy little town.  We’ve been looking for the top 10 things to do here this week.  Here is my list:

#10  Eat at Pepperheads 

#9  Vanilla Latte’ from the Silver Bean

#8  Visit the Elks Lodge

#7  Drink a Raspberry Wheat Beer at the Main Street Brewery

#6  Shop for books at the used book store

#5  Stop by the Cortez Cultural Center (visit the quilt exhibit)

#4  Visit Jimmy’s 4×4 Offroad Shop

#3 Drive down McElmo Canyon

#2 Visit with friends

#1 Visit MesaVerde National Park

I checked the list on Trip Advisor, they only came up with 9 things to do, it’s time they stepped up their game.  Mesa Verde National Park is my favorite.  I love all National Parks, but Mesa Verde is something special, the sense of history is incredible because the age of the peoples that lived here was so long ago.  Over 800 years ago, these cliff dwellings were inhabited, most of what you can see in the US is not over 200 years old, so to go to a place that is centuries older than that is incredible.

I’ve spent a lot of time in National Parks, just in the past year we’ve been to the Petrified Forest, Glacier, Yellowstone, Roosevelt, Arches, Canyons and the Grand Canyon.  But that’s nothing.

In 2007, Haley and I took a 30 day road trip.  In 30 days, we hit two countries, 37 states, 17 National Parks and 9000 miles.  We started with a visit to my other daughter, Kayla in West Yellowstone, never have we laughed so much.  We continued on to Devil’s Tower, Wind Cave, The Badlands, Mt.Rushmore and then on to the Oklahoma bombing memorial.  Most of the others we saw were in Washington D.C., but all were memorable.  The road trip is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that you can’t ever hope to replicate.  I spend a lot of time on the road, but to be with your 14 year old for 30 days, from place to place and see the US from her perspective was a memory I will always treasure.

The last morning on the road we were leaving our hotel on the western edge of North Dakota, it was early and I wasn’t excited to be on the road again.

Haley was bright eyed and talking (this was typical); as we passed the fields of alfalfa, Haley grabbed my arm, “mom, mom, you have to stop, they have filing cabinets in their field!”

I looked at her skeptically and looked out in the field, I didn’t see anything.

A few minutes later, she said, “look, look, see…filing cabinets.”

I looked to where she was pointing, “Haley, do you mean the bee boxes?”

The look on her face was priceless, “oh, yeah, I guess that’s what it is.”

We laughed and laughed, she has a precious outlook on life, if Haley can see filing cabinets, I can see them too.

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