Mesa Verde National Park

Monday, June 26, 2006

It might seem like we're dashing all over the state (or at least the southwest portion), and in a way, we were, but it was about 2-3 hours maximum driving between any two points. So on Sunday we had breakfast at the B&B and toured the Gold Mine and took the bus back to Durango and still made it by early evening to Cortez. Then Monday morning we got up early for our 8:30 half-day bus tour of the Mesa Verde National Park. This is the site of Anasazi, or Ancient Peoples, previous dwellings. They likely lived in this area for thousands of years, eventually migrating south when population pressures stretched the region's ability to provide enough food and water.

From Mesa Verde, you can see all four states that make up the Four Corners: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah.

  1. Our tour guide explaining how this pointy plant is used for many, many things, including string for weaving. A sort of yucca plant, I think.

  2. A first shot of the famous cliff dwellings. These are the most recent Anasazi dwellings, dating from say a thousand or six hundred years ago.

  3. On top are some other structures.

  4. Archeologists have theories about how each walled-off area was used. For some reason, circular structures are considered religious sites or sites used for ritual.

  5. You have to admit it looks totally cute and Martian at the same time.

  6. One of the larger villages (these all have names, but I can't recall)

  7. Quite a few people did the hike up and down the hills in the hot sun. Kids particularly liked climbing in and out of any structure not roped off.

  8. Dad is getting ideas for a cottage expansion

  9. Art Shot(tm)

  10. Archeologists?

  11. Art Shot(tm)

  12. Random and arguably not that interesting shot

  13. Yet another Art Shot(tm)!

  14. Actual archeologists. They painstakingly measure and calculate where all the stones and walls are, and record it naturally, so that in case of earthquake or something or other, they'd be able to reconstruct the dwellings. Since the dwellings have been there for hundreds of years, they're probably safe enough, but it gives all those graduate students something fun to do.

  15. Fred Flintstone, eat your heart out.

  16. The wide view

  17. You wouldn't necessarily think, looking at the landscape, that it's perfect for cliff dwellings

  18. A parting shot

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: July 14, 2006 (Happy Bastille Day! Alons, enfants de la patrie!)