We left Thursday morning by about 9:15. By the time we turned off at Ridgway we were in white-out snow conditions. It was quite crazy. And freezing! And none of us had planned for snow-conditions. I was getting a little worried. We stopped at Telluride for a bathroom break and it was 30-something degrees and blizzard snow. So cold. Then we stopped at Dolores for a lunch and play break. Again, it was freezing!
After forever, we made it to Mesa Verde. We got out and started getting a few directions and instructions. Then it started hailing on us! We all ran inside to the visitor's center. We walked around there, checking out the exhibits and such, then headed back on the bus to go on a hike. We actually had decent weather (not warm, but not snowing or hailing, so we were happy!). The hike was fine. Nothing too exciting, really.
We finished up that day by doing some singing activities at an amphitheater and then heading back down to Cortez. We stayed there at an elementary school in their gymnasium. We got to the school, unloaded our gear, then went and played tag in the field (I was still freezing.). The kids looked like they had a lot of fun. Then we had pizza for dinner, more playing for the kids on the playground, then in to the gym. There were a few other activities for the kids that evening and then around 10 pm lights were finally off.
Girls slept on one side of the gym, boys on the other. It went pretty well - there was not much talking among the kids. But just lots of noises - moving, shifting around, coughing (mostly fake I'm sure), etc. I slept like I did when I camp: waking up every 2 hours trying to find a more comfortable position. :) We were awakened at 5:45am to Olaf singing about summer-time. :)
Friday morning we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed back to Mesa Verde. Our first stop was the Spruce Tree house. We divided in to 2 groups and my group roamed the little museum. Then we got to hike down to the dwelling. It was cool. Miles loved it - especially going down in to a kiva.
We came back and then went to Cliff Palace. We again divided in to 2 groups - one group stayed at Cliff Palace and the other went to Balcony House. Unfortunately, Miles and I were in the group at Cliff Palace. (I was "over" 4 kids, Miles being one of them.) Cliff Palace was cool, but the tour guide wasn't super friendly, didn't seem to like kids, and didn't really leave any time for exploring the area. Kind of lame, but still it was cool to see. Then we waited for our bus to come back with lunch and to take us to Balcony House. But there was a mix-up/miscommunication and our group ended up waiting for 1 1/2 hours until our bus came back. The poor kids were starving, but did well and just played, sang songs, etc. The other group finally made it in the bus and our kids got to eat. But our group had missed our scheduled tour for the Balcony House and so were weren't able to do that one - which is the cool one with huge ladders to climb, caves/tunnels to crawl in, etc. Bummer. So while the other group did Cliff Palace we went on the bus and drove to a few quick get-out spots.
Then back to pick up the other group and head back home. Mind you, there were about 15 bathroom breaks taken on this trip - which, with so many people, would end up taking 30 minutes. We headed out about an hour late, and so arrived back in Montrose at 8:15. Jonas was on his bike with Grandma Dixie there, too. We walked home, got some dinner, talked about our trip, hugged the girls, saw the awesome home-improvement project Ben had started for my Mother's Day gift, etc.
I think the 4th graders had fun. But it was also a lot of sitting on the bus, listening to rangers, etc. I think it needed a little more hands-on activities. But, overall, it was a good field trip. I'm glad I got to go.
Here are some pictures. I had given my camera to Miles and let him take whatever pictures he wanted to. He got lots of weird shots, but that's Miles for ya. I won't post most of them here, don't worry. :) I think I'll have them all printed out and he can put them in a little scrapbook. Anyways, here are some:
Miles' good friend Malachi on the bus ride over.
A picture of a rock Miles liked on our hike.
Another picture of tag.