After a few nice chilled days in New Mexico, it was time to tackle Colourful Colorado, my new fave state! On day 15 we made it to the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, where we entered bear territory. This led to hours of bear-related questions on the bus, including what to do if you see a bear, what do bears like, and every single bear relate question ever. Our poor leader. After putting up our tents in a really remote spot of the camp site, and hiding in the bear boxes (because, why not), we rented some sand boards and headed to the dunes. The dunes are really quite spectacular, with the Rockies as their backdrop, they’re pretty cool. Sand boarding was quite the experience, and IT WAS SO HARD climbing back up the dunes with the board! After getting attacked by a sand storm and getting sand everywhere, we headed back to camp where I managed to drop my phone down the loo, and the charger port never worked again, so that was bye bye phone. This was also the night that we all swear we heard a bear outside our tents in the night, we will never know, but I say there was a bear sniffing our tents.
On day 16 we headed off to Durango, driving up a mountain to the stunning Lobo Outlook at an elevation of 11,700 feet, before heading onto the town of Durangoo where we explored the shops and had a beer before getting caught in the torrential rain. I also managed to buy a cheapy American phone from Target, yay! The KOA we stayed at in Durango was probably my favourite camp site, it was lovely, and the showers were great too! We went out for a few drinks and some food but decided to call it a night before our epic day ate Mesa Verde! I’ve always wanted to visit Mesa Verde, so when day 17 rolled around, I was so excited. We managed to get a slot on the 12:30 Cliff Palace Tour, so beforehand we explored the museum, watched the film/documentary and drove to some awesome lookout points to take photos. The tour of the Cliff Palace was absolutely incredible, if not a little terrifying in places, eg the climb down and the ladders back up. We had a really funny ranger on the tour and he was so full of knowledge of the dwellings that the tour was amazing. On our Target stop back to camp I also had a lovely experience, I saw a cart with a sign saying 50c and inside were tonnes of pots of m&m’s so I picked one up and went to the till. I queued at one of the 20 items or less till, but there was a couple at the front taking the p*ss as they had a full shop with at least 30 items and held up the queue, everyone was rolling their eyes and sighing, and we chatted to this lovely lady queuing behind us. I finally got to the till but the m&m pot scanned through full price at like $2 so I just asked to leave it behind, paid for the rest of my bits and walked off. As I was walking off I heard an ‘excuse me’ and the lovely lady behind me in the queue had bought the pot of M&M’s for me. It was the loveliest thing, what a sweetie. After the phone down the toilet stress, it was a lovely thing to happen, so thanks random American lady, you’re a babe!
Next week will be a post on one of the most magical evenings at Monument Valley!