all of the other stops were because of their proximity to this location.
Mesa Verde National Park.
I have wanted to visit this park for a long while. I wanted to immerse myself in history. I wanted to descend stairs, climb ladders, and crawl thru tunnels to see this amazing archeological site. I wanted to learn about this amazing civilization that built houses and cities with engineering genius and no large pack animals and very crude tools. I wanted to find out why they left.......
|The reason for the whole trip....|
This was the park that started the planning.
Fate and luck were with us....
Not only did we get both tours, but we got the times we wanted! :)
Let the breath go that was pent up for not wanting to miss a tour.....
Ok, now for the adventure that was Mesa Verde.
I had no clue that to get to the sites, you first had to drive a 20 mile windy road to get you up onto the Mesa.
I was traveling with my mom, who has a MASSIVE fear of heights, so when I bought our tour tickets, I knew she would not be joining me at Balcony House, but I was unsure about Cliff Palace. The ranger told me there were stairs and a small ladder but it is family friendly, so I talked to mom and convinced her she could not miss the Cliff Palace tour. Bravely, she agreed!
|looking out to the valley, Cortez to the left|
|enjoying the long and winding road|
|looking across to Cliff Palace|
|the views from our first stop|
|this site is MASSIVE!|
|Notice both the round and square buildings...|
Advanced engineering and planning were needed
|they used the overhang for a natural cooling and|
|no horses, no donkeys, no pack animals|
helped in the building
|only crude tools and hard work|
|notice the lighter patches of repair,|
but it stands the test of time well.
I was fascinated by the site and it translated into a ton of photos.
|looking out from Cliff Palace,|
the notch on the other side of the canyon, left side is a small dwelling site
|the diversity of architecture just amazed me|
|and it still stands|
|the rare place where you get to look into a tower...|
and it was time to climb out.
Mom nerves kicked back up with the narrow cut into rock stairs and a short ladder, but once again, she did fine and once she got back to the parking lot agreed she would of been disappointed if she had missed it.
While I had learned a lot and had a lot of my questions answered,
one still remained.
Why did they leave the dwellings?
It remains an unanswered question, even to those who know Mesa Verde best.
Descended into the Past
and enjoying it...