Saturday, 23 August 2008

Day Eighteen - Tuesday, 8 July - Part II

So, after we did the Black Canyon thing, Bill, Bob and I returned to the RV and carried on down to Mesa Verde. This was the third or fourth time I'd been here, can't remember if it was the second or third time for Bill. This should tell you what an amazing place it is.

But first we had to get there.

Through some more mountain passes.

Bill was driving, Bob was praying

and I tried to snap some pictures to capture just how much I hated those roads.

But we did get to Mesa Verde, in the late afternoon. In fact we arrived at the Visitors' center just in time to be told we couldn't do a guided tour as they were all booked up for the rest of the day. I think Bob may have been a little relieved as there was ladder climbing involved and since Bill and I had seen it before it wasn't an awful disappointment. Fortunately, we later learned, The Tourists were able to get there sooner and do the whole dash (Simon's pictures will follow). While we were there, I tried to take pictures of this magnificent mountain lion, but the glass case defeated me.

I love the part of the part where they say "If you are fortunate enough to see a mountain lion, please respect its space". (Click on the picture for a readable view.)

Given that he's about a third bigger than me, and very well armed, I don't think I'd have any problem doing that.

We left the Visitors' Centre and drove the 15 miles down to the museum to look at what was on offer at that stage. As soon as we arrived, Bill realised he'd misplaced his video camera and was visibly shaken about it. I was fighting down panic. I don't think Bob could even believe it.

I suggested Bill ask someone at the desk to phone the Visitors' Center to see if it had been turned in, and do it soon as it was close to 5pm when I was certain the Center would shut. The staff were sympathetic, but no it hadn't been turned in. They sent Bill to the Park Rangers' office to file a report. Meantime, Bob and I went down to the Spruce Tree House as instructed, but my heart wasn't in it.

We were all tired. Bob said if it was all the same to me, he wasn't bothered about walking all the way down, as we would just have to walk all the way up again. I was grieving for all of Bill's filming he'd done the last two weeks. We went back up to the RV and turned it inside out, just in case. We found Bill's still camera which had been missing for the majority holiday, so there was at least that positive. I was beginning to get annoyed, seeing as how I'd bought both the still and the video cameras as birthday or Christmas gifts and now that I'd retired was less in a position to replace them, though fortunately, they probably would be covered by insurance. I tried to reassure myself that people who have the money to go to Mesa Verde might already have video cameras and perhaps more likely to turn it in as lost.

Bill came back from the Park Rangers' office looking really depressed. He wanted to drive back to the Visitors' Center to check the mens' toilet; he thought that might have been where he left it. I was frantic to get there, thinking now that the Visitors' Center was closed, it would be harder for someone to turn the camera in. I was thinking that Bill might at least have copies of the videos Bob had taken and Bill remarked that he still had the whole first tape, and would have only lost a portion of a second tape. We were trying to find some comfort; when Bill came back with his camera and a BIG smile we all shouted with joy and relief!

No comments: