7/23/2002

Over the last few days, we went on a mini-vacation that included Mesa
Verde
. The park looks pretty bad because of fire damage killing a huge
number of the trees. Even
after two years, it still looks like it happened recently. I guess they’ve
had a series of fires in recent years. It was interesting to see the results
of a big fire. The main Cliff Palace ruins were closed to tourists because
of fire danger. We went to the Long House ruins. Near the end of the day,
it began to rain. We were on a two-car train/bus with an overhead cover
that was open on the sides. We were drenched…very exciting! Then we left
to return to Albuquerque. The rain followed us all the way back to home
where it stopped short of Albuquerque (of course). We stopped in Cuba (New
Mexico) at a Circle K on the way and I heard a bunch of frogs chirping
in the rain in the distance. I must have run over several frogs on the
trip. (How sad!) I didn’t know there were frogs in the desert out there.
On the mini-vacation, we also went to Durango,
CO
and also saw a lot of fire damage outside the town from recent fires.
There were signs all over town thanking the fire fighters for their recent
efforts. Apparently, fire is normal and healthy for the forests, but people
live out there so you can’t really allow the fire to burn its way through
normally. So, the fuel builds up much worse than it might normally and
the fire is more destructive when it does come. At the Durango Mountain
resort, we went on the Alpine
Slide
. Marmots and chipmunks kept popping up on the side of the track
like they were going to run in front of us, but they fortunately weren’t
that stupid. We also went swimming at Trimble Hot Springs. The water in
the main pool was pretty warm for an outdoor pool in Colorado. We met up
with my friend and his wife for a bit of tennis until the mosquitoes began
to mass. Well, it was nice to get out of town for a bit.

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