When it comes to planning I’d say there are a variety of levels. There are detail-oriented planners- the type of people that wake up every Monday knowing pretty much how the week will go. Detail people may even know what’s for dinner every night of the week.
Confession- I am not a detailed planner. You could classify me as more of a plan on the fly type of gal. Dinner? I just know if I don’t know what I’m having I have a big box of Corn Flakes to save the day. I’m a-okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, I make plans. They just don’t come with a great deal of detail.
A few summers ago after listening to a friend yammer on about her interest in yurts, I was intrigued. So I got online and looked for a yurt to stay in. Being the kind of girl who does, at times, judge a book by its cover I went with a yurt located in Colorado’s western slope. The pictures looked nice and all but really I was sold the minute I read the name of the property. Kit and I would be spending 5 glorious days atop Cedar Mesa at The Yurt at Screwball Ranch. The rest of our time would be spent driving around and checking out what Southwestern Colorado had to offer the tourist industry.
The yurt was the only real plan we made, everything that happened after that was pretty much on a whim. Yes, we did do a little research on the area ahead of time so we knew a trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison was in order. That little bit of planning didn’t hurt as we wandered aimlessly around checking out the magnificence of it all. We peered cautiously at the canyon as it dropped 2,000 feet to the bottom where the Gunnison River flowed. We wandered down to the bottom of the canyon and were treated to an array of wildflowers I’ve never seen on the east coast.
There was a whole bunch of wandering going on that week. On a near perfect summer day we headed down the road and happened upon a rodeo where we were shocked to see young, blonde-headed girls gallop down the dusty arena, jump off their mounts and proudly tie up a poor bleating lamb. It was interesting, entertaining and a tad freaky all at the same time. After filling up on our fair share of rodeo we happened upon a fantastic little barbecue joint and a local winery. The day, filled with no real plan, meandered along in a fabulous way.
The other thing we planned on was a trip to the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. Kit had majored in Anthropology and Sociology in college and was thrilled with the idea of seeing the homes of the ancient Pueblo people. Unfortunately, we never considered the effects Colorado’s high altitude would have on us. Driving through Mesa Verde National Park was not all that taxing, but once it came time to hike down to the Spruce Tree cliff dwelling the lack of oxygen had taken its toll on Kit. Looking back, it was by far the only low point of our trip. Here was the place she desperately wanted to see up close, but she didn’t feel like she could push her body to take her there. I carried on alone wishing the whole time that I could have convinced her to try a little harder.
Later that night we found ourselves in a tiny Mexican restaurant where we tried to forget the low point of the day over chips, salsa and Margaritas. The food was great but didn’t keep Kit from feeling like she missed out on something glorious. Walking back to the car I looked up and saw a bright patch of color falling across the sky.
“Let’s follow it!” I suggested.
In a minute we were off, driving down unknown streets in the small town of Cortez looking for the end of the rainbow. It took a little doing but before long we found it, at the end of a residential street. After driving as far as we could along the side streets of the town we were met with an empty lot of land. There was an abundance of brown earth with a scattering of small bushes and brush. In the middle of it all was the end of our rainbow.
There was no pot of gold, but suddenly our day was just a little brighter.