We started our day with a short hike to Zapata Falls. The 3-mile rocky dirt road that led to the trail was almost bumpy enough to deter our trip, but we persevered, and I am so glad we did! Once at the trail head, we strapped on our water shoes and hiked a quick 10 minutes to the falls. Well, to the sign for the falls, and what looked like a pitiful trickle of water down some rocks.
Luckily, Kendra had enough sense to push forward, and we started walking through the freezing Alpine water toward the rock face. As we got closer, we noticed an opening in the rocks. The sound of rushing water grew louder as we moved forward, tenuously stepping from rock to rock.
As we turned the last corner, we spotted some falls that were a bit more impressive and completely worth freezing cold feet. Suddenly, the long bumpy drive up the dirt road became well worth the trip.
The rest of the day was spent on a long drive to Mesa Verde National Park. We made stops along the way, primarily to stretch our legs and eat. When we arrived at the park, we drove directly to the campsite and setup our tent. Our next stop was the visitor’s center so we could buy passes to hike the cliff dwellings for the next day. We also made a quick trip up to the fire tower, the highest point in the park. From there, we got a great view of the flat-topped mesas surrounding us.
When we returned to camp, we made use of the awesome FREE showers! It had been a few days of sponge baths, so we were all very happy for a warm shower. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that the showers were individual rooms, that had 2 hooks to hang our towels, a long bench, and a separate shower area – it was the ideal setup for a family, as we all had plenty of room to move around and Kendra and I could take turns holding Addison.
Addison went to bed fairly early while Kendra and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset and a long game of gin rummy.