Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mesa Verde Two

--> Yesterday, Saturday the 3rd, we spent prowling Mesa Verde, or what of it that is open, the Wetherell Mesa is still closed. We drove along Chapin Mesa through the Cliff Palace and Mesa Top Loops, walked for a couple of miles, round trip, along the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail and generally followed the ruins.

Most famous, the Cliff Palace





Balcony House

There was no way either of us was gonna make the 60 foot ascent to Balcony house.

Between 1996 and 2006 a half dozen fires came through the area, leaving their mark across the mesa


Ruins Road, as it is informally known, takes you through the various surface ruins in a nicely interpreted drive that traces from the earliest, from 300-550 AD, to the point, around 1200, when these folks went into the cliffs. Within another century they would abandon the twenty or so villages they so laboriously constructed in the cliffs, and leave Mesa Verde forever. No one knows why.







But as you go, you cannot help but be impressed with the culture of these ancient peoples and with their building skills and adaptability.

Our other thought as we went through was the wish that we were doing this a decade ago when we would have felt more confident to take the ranger-led tours that take you into the cliff dwellings, but our age and Sharon’s impaired vision suggested it best not to attempt these walks and climbs.

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