We had a short drive from Durango to Mesa Verde today, then 20 mostly hairpin bend miles up to the top of the mesa where the cliff dweller ruins are. It was then quite a steep (but paved) walk down to one of the main ruins (Spruce Tree House), where the ranger (in a Smokey the Bear hat) told us a lot about how the cliff dwellers lived and theories on why they left in about 1275AD.
After we got back up to the top, we walked to the cafe where there was only one person to take the orders and to make them up. So Helen and I offered to help the cook (there were about 30 people in line) and start processing some of the orders. It was simple stuff like soup and chilli beef, hot dogs, chilli dogs, toasted cheese sandwiches etc. Most was already prepared so all we had to do was set out the paper plates, add the crisps and pickles, heat the hot dog buns and split them and add the hot dogs etc., and call the numbers for people to collect their food. The cook did the cheese sandwiches and the small pizzas once she’d finished taking most of the orders. Helen and I had to wash our hands thoroughly before starting and had to wear a hair net too. We were glad to help out – there’s no way she could have dealt with all those orders by herself without really upsetting the customers. She gave us both a small gift and a thank you hug at the end too. Our good deed for the day 😉
After Mesa Verde we drove back down the same way we went up. Stunning scenery and views in all directions. At one point from the top of the mesa I could see Ship Rock, a weird formation that rises off the plains. It was probably at least 20 miles away in New Mexico, but the views were so good we could see it in the distance.
Another magic day for weather, and another T-shirt day.
Some of my photos…
Photos from the entire tour: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157648980759492/