Machu Picchu

The inca ruins of the lost city Machu Picchu during daytime with tourists visiting the site near the city of Cusco, Peru, South America.

Mary Kruse’s daughter, Jessica Palen, works at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica for half the year. During the other half of the year she’s in Denver, and the two try to do a big trip when they can.

After hiking in New Zealand a couple years ago, Kruse and Palen decided Machu Picchu in Peru would be their next adventure, Kruse said.

Kruse’s brother and sister-in-law, Dale Kruse and Terry Doherty of Fruita, wanted to come along and so last November they arranged for their Inca Trail permits and guide.

They planned to go for two weeks to see what they could of the Amazon and Peru before their big hike to Machu Picchu, Mary Kruse said.

In preparation, Kruse and her brother and sister-in-law began hiking in earnest every weekend and sometimes during the week often in the Kokopelli trail system and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area on the west end of the valley, she said.

They were to leave April 5, but in early March the news about COVID-19 wasn’t good. It was likely Peru was going to close its borders. “It was looking really iffy, getting back or going,” Kruse said.

They decided not to go and are now doing pretty much the opposite of big hike. Kruse is at home in the Grand Valley and Palen is finishing up a 14-day self-quarantine in Denver after returning from Antarctica.

Fortunately, the Inca Trail guide service allowed them to postpone a year, so “we can still be excited about going next year,” Kruse said.

Recommended for you