The Obvious Child

“Well I’m accustomed to a smooth ride

I don’t expect to sleep through the night

Paul Simon

As I write this I am reclining in a camp chair with my feet up on a rock in Chaco Canyon. I’m sipping the last cold water I may get for a couple days. There are rainclouds above us and streaks of distant rain falling all around. The tents are set up, clothes picked out, and all the other road trip chores are done. This is the most peaceful feeling I’ve had since we left. What a perfect place to be.

A very peaceful moment.

I didn’t write yesterday (Friday) because it was pretty uneventful. You’ll have to read everyone else’s posts for the details. Today was pretty great from the start though. We decided to make it a sleep-in day. As always I woke up well before everyone else. I used the time to drink some coffee and crochet a couple squares for the blanket I’m working on as the sun pushed the darkness down the side of Ute Mountain. Zoe eventually joined me, and then everyone else. We leisurely ate some breakfast and got the room packed up. Staying three nights in the same place is a luxury, but also leafs to extra work moving out.

Our main plan for the day was to attend the Mancos Burrofest. We lucked into attending the inaugural event in 2019 and knew we’d never miss it again. Like everything else in the world it was canceled last year, but was back better than ever for 2021. The format of the event changed from a burro race to a burro obstacle course. One-by-one the burros wore a poncho around a tree, dragged a bag of tin cans, walked across a tarp, backed through some poles, and watched (or anxiously looked away) as their handlers opened and closed an umbrella. We delightedly cheered each contestant as they took their turn.

The winner of the best costume award.

After everyburro had their turn we all headed over to Main Street where booths were set up and artists were teamed up with each burro to create a work of art inspired by them. There was music, Navajo fry bread, and plenty of general merriment.

After getting our fill of the festivities we headed back to COHO to pick up a few supplies we wanted to bring with to Chaco. We also took a few minutes to critique the work that happened over the last few days. The more things get done the more we can’t wait to be there. Since we’re camping for two nights at Chaco we decided to have an early dinner in Mancos before heading down. We went to the newly renovated Columbine. We had high hopes since the new owners also own our favorite ice cream parlor in the tricity area – Moose and More. I’m happy to say it exceeded our expectations.

Finally we started south to Chaco. Getting here is always a little nerve wracking. I think the NPS does its best to keep people away by maintaining the roads as poorly as possible for about 15 miles to the north of the park and 30 to the south. Fred was up to the task though and now with the sun completely set I suppose it’s time to head into the tent.

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