Getting Drenched at Mesa Verde

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Mesa Verde

I knew it was coming.

I purposely drove 50 miles to a place I knew was going to be pummeled in rain. The place was the first scenic overlook you encounter upon visiting Mesa Verde National Park. Don’t let ’em fool ya. You don’t have to drive much farther. It’s one of the grandest views the Mesa has to offer.

I use an app called Dark Sky from our friends at It’s one of the most ascetically pleasing weather apps there is, but it also amazing at visualizing precipitation forecasts. I was on a hunt to photograph a storm rolling across the Mesa and it looked like I had found my opportunity.

When I arrived it was bright and sunny. A gorgeous Colorado day. But I knew what was coming, and I had prepared. The day before I went to the local discount sporting goods store in Durango and put down $40.00 for a gortex jacket and pants. Best money I ever spent.

I prepared the camera as well. It was covered in an all-weather bag mounted on a tripod.

The perfect time lapse would soon be mine. In about 20 minutes a real soaker was going to be headed up the valley straight at me. Time to hunker down and get wet.

Watching the weather down the Mesa is like watching Mother Nature play chess. You can see the entire board. And you can see the rain come right at you.

But then a great thing happens. The sun comes right back out and makes the green in the valley scream with life.

Give it a look.