I try not to participate in many "touristy" type activities. I feel like you aren't truly experiencing the place you're visiting, but rather the place that locals want you to see. The places they will allow you to participate in, but not really the heart of the place. The heart they protect and keep for themselves, as to not tarnish it.
This year we celebrated the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. This centennial marked 100 years of protected public land. If you aren't aware of the history behind this or what a remarkable gift our public lands are, please read here.
Mesa Verde, meaning "green table," was the home to the Pueblo peoples. While I grew weary of the constant tourist and complaints from others around me about the lack of soda machines and .25 mile walks to see the dwellings, I couldn't help but think how lucky these people were. They lived and explored this land before it had been tarnished by modern day humanity. Yes, life was hard for them, but shouldn't life be hard?
The explorations that must have happened here. The greatness of nature that must have been felt everyday. To truly understand that you are but a tiny aspect in the great earth. To know what it is to survive. To comprehend the magnitude of taking a life so that you yourself may live.
All things we have so quickly forgotten and taken for granted in our modern society.