The next morning we headed out towards Durango with the plan to visit Mesa Verde National Park. It began raining again along the way. The scenery on the way to Durango was very pretty. By the time we got to Durango, it was still raining. We stopped at the D&SNGR station to pick up our tickets for the next day. One of the pastors at our church told us about a french bakery in town called Jean Pierre Bakery, so we stopped there next. It was a nice place to hang out and grab a snack while waiting out the rain. We drove around some more in the rain in town looking for something else to do. Eventually we stopped at Max’s Big Burgers for lunch. They had green chilies on their burger, so I was sold.
Eventually we looked at the weather map on our phone and realized that there was no rain down in Mesa Verde, so we headed down to go visit. While we were there we got a reservation for a tour of Balcony House. It seemed to be the best of the tours as it allowed you to walk in among the ruins. It was a cool tour. We drove around more at the park. The cliff dwelling ruins were really cool. I have to say, if I was going to have to be a Native American, I would have chose to be one of the ones that got to live in those buildings.
We headed back to Durango to check in at our hotel, the Durango Lodge. It was an OK place to stay. Next door was a New Mexican style Mexican restaurant. We decided to check it out. It was full of college students which made the experience not so great. The food was OK at best, but it did what it needed to do. I would have preferred to have had something better for my last meal before heading off for backpacking food. That night we packed our backpacks to get ready to hit the trail in the morning. I spent much of the night looking over weather reports and radar images to see what the weather was going to be like for our trip. There was a winter storm advisory that had been put out for the area. Not what I was wanting to see with us heading into the backcountry the next day with plans to go higher in elevation.