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We Made It!

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Grand Valley Lacrosse played a two-day tournament in Durango this past weekend. Geography whiz that I am, I knew Durango was close to Cortez, which is close to Mesa Verde National Park, which I have visited several times, which Alex has never seen. So now you have the background to the rest of the story. I had tentatively asked Alex a few weeks ago (tentatively, because that’s how you approach teenagers with something you want them to say yes to) if he might be interested in taking a day off from school and going to visit Mesa Verde before the tournament with his . . . .mothuurrr. “Yeah, I guess.” Whoopee! That was unbridled enthusiasm! I was psyched and immediately booked hotels. I walked on egg shells up until we actually got in the car and headed out, feeling almost certain he would change his mind at the last minute. We had a very pleasant drive to Cortez via Moab and other parts of Utah. We discussed his school art project, why people have different talents, and the fact that throwing a pot on the wheel is way harder than it looks. We probably had about 20 minutes of real conversation before he plugged in his ipod and fell asleep. We got to Mesa Verde about 8:00 a.m. on a beautiful day. We got tickets to tour Cliff Palace which Alex really seemed to enjoy. At this point, I would insert a picture of him in front of the cliff dwelling. However, something happened to my USB port when I tried to plug in my camera and some little black plastic thing fell out, so no picture. Probably no new computer on the horizon for me either. At any rate, we toured some of the pit dwellings on top of the mesa and he seemed to like those as well. The highlight for him I would guess is that I let him drive through the park, even though he doesn’t have his permit yet. We were the only ones on a safe, one-way road and what the heck? By the time we got to the fifth “ruin” he was done. “They’re all starting to look the same. The Anasazis really didn’t change their architecture much in a thousand years. The ones that Dan and I saw last fall when we went backpacking were way cooler. They still had corn cobs in them.” The tournament days passed quickly, and it was time to drive home. I had debated driving over Red Mountain, or Puke Pass as I call it. But after talking to one of the moms who had driven over it I decided to get some cajones and go for it. It pretty much sucked as much as I remembered it. Why do they build roads like that? And why, for God’s sake, do they let people ride their bikes on them? Dudes, buy a car. So we made it. We made it over Red Mountain Pass, we made it through almost four days together without a single fight, screaming match or extended period of grumpiness. I really enjoyed our trip together. Hopefully someday Alex will admit he did too.

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