I’ve been back in uniform and at Mesa Verde for over a month now and it still doesn’t feel like things are slowing down. I had a few days of training and then we were all right back at it! Memorial Day came and went so fast it was hard to keep track of it. Boy, was the park busy that weekend! I was out at Wetherill Mesa, and I had never seen so many people out there before. Visitation has slowed down since that weekend, but it’s predicted to go back up here before the end of the month. All the cliff dwelling tours and the extra programs are going full swing.

I’ve been giving the same programs that I gave in past summers (2012, 2013), but I’m just not happy with them. I really would like to focus on a different theme, but time to work on new programs is limited. When I first started here at Mesa Verde back in 2012 I was in college and this was really one of the first times that I was away (over a day’s drive away) from my family. I came to Mesa Verde and visited the dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans and really saw the work they did to make these places home. The two winters I spent here I was at a new point in my life where I was looking more for community and starting my own family, and that’s what I saw in the Ancestral Puebloan dwellings. So my main themes for my programs have been family life and community.

As I come back for my fifth season here at Mesa Verde I am blown away by the fact that the Ancestral Puebloans created everything by their hands. Every small tool, piece of jewelry, all the way up to every stone brick created in the walls. I  can see the many times that they had to make a decision; a decision that changed things in their life. These are the things I hope to bring more into my programs this summer and focus on. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have them completed!

I’m sorry to be so quiet on my blog lately, but do you have anything in particular you wish me to write about?

Bark Ranger Riley Update:
A month before coming out to Mesa Verde, J and I decided that we could get a dog. We adopted goofy Riley from the local shelter and had quite a learning curve about adopting a dog. I got to bring the dog with me out here to Mesa Verde to help with my anxiety and worry, basically to distract me.

Riley is beginning to adjust to my ranger life and is doing better about me being gone all day for work. He is not a fan of the heat, but enjoys the cool mornings and evenings. He does not like me leaving for work and typically won’t come inside after our morning walk. There is a lot of coaxing and bribery to get him inside. However, it’s neat to see that he is in fact learning. Our walks in the evening are going well, and he is getting better at understanding some commands.