A Lost Civilization, Still Bringing People Together - My Family Travels
The fronds!

Last summer, before my Junior year of high school, my father, sister and I had decided to take a trip. As it turns out, our plans fell through. To understand why this was, you'd have to know that my parents are divorced, and I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a void between my father, sister and I now. After some heated conversations, a few tears, and more than a couple eye-rolls, my dad and I agreed to take a trip to Mesa Verde. Unfortunately, my sister did not come with us.

I was anxious but excited for the trip, and packed my camera and days worth of batteries to snap a lot of great pictures. We planned to drive from Denver, Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park, stopping in campsites at night along the way. Just getting to the National park was an adventure in and of itself. My dad decided to make me the navigator, and we ended up in a few perilous sketchy situations due to this. I found a “shortcut” on our map, and we decided to try it out! As it turns out, the shortcut was actually straight up one side of a mountain, and right back down the other side. This was Cinnamon Pass, a treacherous climb meant mainly for Jeeps and four-wheelers. (We crossed it in a Ford Explorer!)  

My heart was pounding and I feared for my life as we wound back and forth up the pass, and I tried not to look down at the sheer drop outside my passenger window. After an hour or so of climbing, we finally reached the top. Even in the middle of July, snow was all around us, and a cold rain was falling as we got out of the car to snap a few pictures. (We made it!)

Finally, after many stops to the King Soopers deli for lunch-on-the-go, we made it to Mesa Verde. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. My dad convinced me to get up early to go on a hike (his favorite hobby) to “Mug House” a new Indian dwelling that had just opened up. Our group was small, and the hike was a blast! We climbed rocks, paraded across desert landscapes, and finally pushed through some dew-covered fronds to find Mug House sitting before us, named after the three mugs found hanging there when it was first discovered.

After our Mug House tour, we wandered down to Step House, and on the way there, we stumbled across a band of wild horses. I am a horse enthusiast, so this alone made the entire trip worth while for me. They were beautiful, powerful animals, and my dad eventually got bored of watching me take pictures of them! We finished up that day with a few bus tours, then headed back to our Mesa Verde hotel before heading out the following morning.

I am so glad I took this trip with my dad. At first, it seemed like we wouldn't be taking a summer vacation trip together, but we finally settled on Mesa Verde, and I am so glad we did. Had we not taken this trip, I would not have any of the amazing memories I still think about to this day. My dad and I got to spend hours bonding, which is more important to me than anyone could ever imagine. Now, with my 600 word limit drawing near, I bid you adieu. Thank you for letting me share my story with you! I wish you happy travels!

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