I’ve written and rewritten this piece several times. One take away was the great wonder and mystery of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde and the community living site at Chimney Rock. Another take away, which I have struggled with, is the critique on how our modern society has attempted to retell the story of this ancient civilization.
When there is real work to do it seems we pray for snow days even as adults. In this case, the morning sun was a happy signal that it was time to play. We were free. We threw on our full gear knowing we could shed layers and then packed up for the day. Matthew having traveled in many cold climates had made my packing list and we were nearly identical as we headed out. Thermal underbar, ski pants, flannel jacket, down vest, raincoat, boot liners, ski socks, hiking boots, neck warmer, hat and gloves. We also had purchased some walking level crampons, which came to be an absolute essential on the icy pathways and frozen cliff sides.
Traveler True: Yaktrax Walkers for winter travel. We had been advised by REI staff to use a more heavy duty version but due to the price we decided to go with a basic pair and were in no way disappointed. We knew that if we were gonna take on any extreme hiking we would be able to rent mountaineering crampons.