Big Bend National Park – Texas

Spent a few hot days at Big Bend National Park in Texas! 
Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails here so I had to do my runs in the early morning. First night we had a great view spot of Nugent Mountian to camp. It was also close to Pine Canyon Trail which leads to a waterfall. Pup and I hung out trying to stay cool in the shade of the van. Shade is very limited to find in the park.     Woke up early and ran 4.6 miles round trip to the waterfall on the Pine Canyon trail. Not much of a waterfall but it was trickling/flowing good for a TX desert waterfall. After my run pup and I explored the scenic drives in the park. Dogs are only allowed on roads so we stopped often on the backcountry roads to stretched. Drove from Boquillas Canyon all the way to Santa Elena Canyon, which are opposite sides of the park. Crazy to see views like this in Texas!   On our last day I woke up early to run to the highest peak in the park, Emory Peak. Woke up 15 minutes before sunrise to get to the trailhead at Chisos Basin Village. The view of the peaks as we drove was overcast and cloudy. Emory especially was not visible from the start. Most people would be disappointed but I was relieved. The overcast would keep pup cool in the van incase the forest service mileage was wrong, which it was. Total miles to the rock scramble peak of Emory from the Village was 11 miles vs the 9.8 I originally thought. My view at the top was pure clouds, cool breeze and solitude.     Not in if for the views, I am in it for the adventure!

Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

Explored Mesa Verde National Park the last couple days. It’s simply amazing!
To see the little villages and life style the Ancestral Pueblo people lived puts life in perspective. We definitely live out of our means in today’s society, and nothing is wrong with that, but we just need to take a step back to evaluate what we have and appreciate it all the more.  
  
The Park offers two free self guided tours of the dwellings (Spruce Tree House and Step House). As well as Ranger guided tours for an inside look of three other dwellings. I only did the free tour of Spruce Tree House (Spruce Tree closes in September).   
 
To me I still feel I got the up close feeling with the free tour. Even it to climb in a kiva and a baby tarantula cross my path on the trail! Most overlook trails and the Long House Loop paved trail are dog. There is not a lot cover so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.