This evening, at dusk, we drove from the Dolores Brewery to Cortez. The sun had set and every mountain range that surrounded us had a purple haze. The silhouette of Sleeping Ute, in the distance, was particularly lovely. We could see the lights of the ranches, the homes, the farms that we drove by. In some areas, there was a small cluster of lights, indicating a group of homes, or a small town with a restaurant or two open. The lights of Cortez were most noticable. Noticing all these lights, as the stars began to shine overhead, reminded me of something Ranger Jackie told us at Mesa Verde at the beginning of the week. 1,000 years there were three times as many people living here. And all those people, those families, neighborhoods, communities had light. Fire. At night, it probably didn’t look all that different in the Montezuma Valley. Perhaps, there was even more light, more signs of people, of life. As we drove, I thought more about where we are. We spent a good amount of time today hiking and exploring the Colorado home, both in the morning, and this evening. In addition to the views, and the plants, and the critters and creatures, we found more pottery sherds then we could count and a really interesting obsidian rock that was a tool of some sort, or perhaps a head of a spear. This whole week has grounded us and we’ve all made connections with where we are and why we are here.
These big moments of clarity, peace, and happiness were sandwiched between other good ones. A design builder came out to the lot this morning and we were able to get better understanding of the process of building a house. We dined at Absolute Bakery and Cafe for lunch and the Dolores Brewery for dinner. The camp coffee this morning was better than any cup I’ve had at a Holiday Inn Express the whole trip. The girls built a fort out of downed branches and had a blast trying to put together the skeleton puzzle they found under a pinyon pine. It was a day of happiness.