We have an aggressive agenda. We have no time for dilly-dallying, fiddle-faddling, or otherwise shilly-shalling. This country's full of sights, and we're gonna durn sure see a fair piece of 'em before we call this Odyssey quits. That's why we were up before the last echo of the rooster's crow had died off, though it also helped that the temperature in Otto's cabin was a conservative 200 degres kelvin. We fried some eggs and bacon on Otto's hood and were ready to tour some Anasazi ruins.
To tour one of Mesa Verde's more popular cliff dwellings (Cliff Palace, Balcony House, or Long House), you needed to get a first-come, first-serve, same-day sale only, $1.35 tour ticket that guaranteed you a time-specific spot in one of the tours that departed on the half-hour. Tickets were only available at the Visitor's Center and were in addition to the $10 folks without the Golden Eagle pass had already paid to get into the park. To make it just a little more interesting, you couldn't buy a ticket for both Balcony House and Cliff Palace on the same day -- only one per day was allowed, though you could combine that with a Long House ticket.
After downing two Advil to combat the headache figuring out all these rules and regulations had caused, we went to buy our tickets for one of the tours. It was there that we met....the beast. Oh, god. Oh, no. Is that line really out to the parking lot? Oh, my. That's not good. Not good at all.
We managed to get in line by about 9:00 AM. Unfortunately, as the ranger informed us, the earliest tour then available was 11:00 AM. And, by the time we got to the front of the line, he reckoned that the earliest tour available would be at noon, 12:30 at the latest. Now, I'm a good American -- I hate to wait. I crave instant satisfaction, and I'm not afraid to admit it. That old saw, "good things come to those who wait?" Hogwash. Pantywaist nonsense. Good things come to those who go out and get them. The only thing that comes to those who wait is slim pickings. I know -- I'm a medical doctor.
Ayn Randish tendencies aside, we decided that waiting in this line would have dire repercussions for our plans to get to Austin, TX, by the 4th of July. So, we set out to see the park by ourselves, sans preprogrammed tours. Now, I'm sure those tours are just great -- informative and educational -- but we managed to have an excellent experience without them. We hiked down into one of the cliff dwellings, took a nice walk through some early farming terraces, and checked out great views of many different ruins. And, as we were leaving the park after a couple hours spent touring, we spotted the fellow who had been in line with us for tour tickets just getting into his car and heading out. Ouch. That's a long line.
|Coming out of Mesa Verde, we took a slightly wrong (though educational) turn. After discussing whether Kruszchev was ever in on the famed "second letter" during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Fidel shared some Cuban rum with us and took us on a short tour of the Bay of Pigs. Educated, though lost, we headed off to Cortez, Colorado, where there was rumored to be internet access of a sort.|
There was no Kinko's in Cortez, and we'd struck out on the hotel front. Internet access was looking pretty grim. As a last resort, we called an ISP to see if they had any suggestions. While they couldn't rent us a workstation on the internet, they did happen to mention that the Cortez Public Library did provide internet access...would that do? It would. We felt pretty stupid that we had not thought to check out public libraries yet on the Odyssey, but were happy nonetheless to have a faint hope of internet access.
We went in, and it was just as they said. We rented a Macintosh on the Internet for $4/hr. Since I don't have any FTP software for the Mac, we just pulled the phone plug and hooked up our laptop to our 1-800 internet access number. They never knew the difference, and Kristanne got to spend some quality time drawing on the Mac. We also met an Extreme Fellow Traveller in the library -- Tricia Reynolds. Tricia works out of her van, too, but has been on the road for a year, now. She plans, organizes, and leads trips to Nepal. Her company is called "A World Away Travels," if you're interested. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call her at 1-888-438-3612. That's her in the background as I put up the page from the laptop.
|Leaving Cortez, we busted hard for Santa Fe so that we could see Extreme Fellow Travellers Colin and Sarah (that's them at the right) and still have time to make some more progress towards Austin. We tried to see the Chaco Canyon National Heritage Site on the way, but the 21 miles of grader-rutted dirt road turned us and Otto's overtaxed suspension back to the pavement. We finally pulled into Colin and Sarah's driveway about 7:30 and had a nice dinner with them at a Tex-Mex kinda place called Cafe Zia. It was right tasty.|
It was really good to see friends on the road, but then we had to hit the bricks, start making some miles. Well, actually Kristanne did. I kinda fell asleep, but not before we got the Scenic Shot of the Day in Santa Fe.
We didn't stop until about 2:30 AM, bringing in the noise, as we brought in the funk. In case you were wondering, we don't particularly recommend RV parks in Socorro, New Mexico. See you next time!
Total Miles for 7/2 = 518
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