Durango, a Toxic Spill and Mesa Verde Otra Vez

Today was a long day, but that's not a complaint. When your day is filled with good stuff, it's good that it's long.

I started in Farmington where I stopped at a corner water vending machine to fill up my jugs with filtered water before heading out of town.

I drove about an hour to Durango where I was going to teach Amazing.

I got there over half an hour early, as planned, and let River run around on a grassy area on his 50 foot leash. It had started raining this morning, so the grass was wet and muddy. It didn't deter us from enjoying a moment of dog play.

Once River's needs were met, I loaded the crate into the studio and put him inside. I chatted with my host, Evonne, while the students gathered for class.

This group was one of the strongest I've experienced. No matter what I said, they picked up on it right away. If it was FreeDancing, they were totally free.  If it was FloorPlay, they were totally playful. The routine also has some new movements that are designed to challenge the brain, and they picked up those movements like a duck picks up swimming. During the class, I made a comment that they must have a good teacher!

Sorry, we took no pictures.  But my shirt was soaked with sweat by the time we were finished.

After class, I stopped at a local burger place to get some lunch. Evonne told me about a place that was 'conscious' about the issues of serving hamburgers. They source all grass-fed and organic ingredients. They take care to ensure that when they hire trucks to ship supplies, that the truck carries a full load in both directions. Having the truck take a trip without a load is a waste of resources, the sign said. They also have a big sign in the restaurant explaining why their patties are 4 oz. They site the recommendations of 3 - 5 ounces of meat per serving and suggest that their customers honor these guidelines for their best health. I was very impressed by that.

And then, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was really missing out on something good by not taking that longest, westernmost road in the Mesa Verde National Park yesterday.  It was less than an hour from Durango so despite the rain, I decided to appease my mind and go check out the rest of the park.

The longer road, as it turns out, was not any more rugged nor did it offer any more opportunities to get close to nature. It was just a longer road.  The drive was exactly the same as it was on the other two loops from yesterday, only I think today's road was longer than the other two combined.

The higher in elevation I got, the more autumnal the weather got.

By the time I reached the highest point in the park, it was under 50 degrees, which doesn't sound that cold but it was ferociously windy and raining. These conditions made the air feel frigid. I could hardly take a video without shivering.
 I decided to forego taking the trail all the way up to the very top point. It wasn't a long hike, but the wind and cold was relentless.

After feeling satisfied that I'd seen the whole park, I made a bee-line for Santa Fe. It was dark before I got in. I'll be here all weekend for the fourth annual Men of Nia event at Studio Nia Santa Fe.

Yesterday and today, going to and leaving the park I passed a site along US-160 in Cortez, Colorado.
I passed it four times, and each time, I was tempted to stop and explore it up close. But the toxic warnings prevented me from doing so. They didn't squelch my curiosity and fascination. The ominous signs warn that the land is toxic and thank the state of Colorado for the state of the property.

One of the signs says "Got Cancer Yet?"  And another sign says that the EPA report shows no threat. It seemed like an interesting story, so I looked it up. If you're interested, here it is.


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