We spent one more night in Durango, then got up bright and early, had coffee and hit the road again. Reluctantly.
I could have stayed in Durango another week or more. Love that place and we barely saw the tip of the iceberg there.
Mesa Verde was our next stop, and I am so glad we finally made it down there. I have been wanting to go for 26 years now. It did not disappoint.
There are many cliff sites to see, but we were only there for a day trip so we chose two: Balcony House and Cliff Palace. Spruce Tree House is closed because there is a fault in the rock above it which is quite dangerous. Erosion has caused this and has made the cliff above the dwelling very unstable. The two pictures below are Spruce Tree House.
A word about the park. Be sure and get there very early to make the most of your day. I would also suggest camping there a few days so you can see more. It is well worth a stay.
We had time before our first tour to Balcony House, so a ranger suggested a hike into the canyon to see some petroglyphs. He thought for sure we would be able to make it in and out in time, so we took off at a fast pace. It was a gorgeous hike, but about 3 miles or so in my blood sugar crashed. Smarty pants here had only eaten a Power bar and a latte for breakfast and we were hiking some tough terrain at a very clipped pace.
I didn’t even realize what was going on. I felt the adrenaline rush and panic that sets in, but thought that maybe I was overheated and needed water. I sat down and drank some water and poured it over my head, and told the kids we needed to keep going. Cody calmly sat me back down and said “No, we need to rest. You are overheated” but apparently I got back up and said “No, I need to keep moving and get OUT OF HERE”.
When my blood sugar crashes, I get this absolutely horrible adrenaline rush and it feels like I am dying. Basically I am, because you can’t survive with a blood sugar of 30-40. I also get very irrational and impulsive. Luckily for me I have reactive hypoglycemia, so the adrenaline rush gets my body to release glucose and my numbers climb up to around 50-60. I can’t eat or swallow well when it is super low, so it can be a problemo.
The kids said I took off like a bat out of hell and kept saying “Why am I having a panic attack? What is this?”. Funny how none of us realized what was going on.
We got to the petroglyphs and basically did a “Yup, there they are. Let’s go.” and took off up the cliffs to hike a shorter way back around via the top of the canyon.
Once on flat ground I was able to choke down some cliff bar and when my haze of brain starvation cleared, realized that my blood sugar had bottomed out. How awesome that that happened with the kids, in a canyon with temps over 100 degrees. From there on I made sure we had juice and candy in the backpack at all times.
Food in my system, we made it back to the car and drove to our first tour. Balcony house.
This place is awesome, but it is NOT for small children. My kids were fine, but there was a 5yo on the tour and his mom almost had a coronary on the ladders. I would say that maybe ages 7 and up would be fine, but think hard about taking any that are younger. It is a long way down if they trip.
We were with a smallish group and the ranger let us explore the cliffs at a slower pace.
I was completely enchanted with Mesa Verde. I wanted to stay so badly, but we ended up skipping the second tour because it was getting late in the day and we needed to get on the road to Moab and secure a campsite before dark.
Next time we will stay several days there and really explore the park.