Monday, October 19, 2009

Exploring the Cliff Dwellings

The drive from Moab Utah to Cortez Colorado is very scenic. We left the red rock cliffs behind and drove through flat prairie. The trees were golden in the sunshine and it was a beautiful fall day. After getting set up in the campground we drove to Mesa Verde National Park. The road to the top is full of switchbacks and deep ravines. We watched a short video about the Puebloans and then toured the museum. The viewpoint from the museum overlooks Spruce Tree House, the park's best-preserved cliff dwelling. We chose to tour the Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in the park. Our tour took us down uneven stone steps, paths around rocks and into the Cliff Palace. (Should I mention at this time that I am not fond of heights or edges???) It was amazing to see what these ancient peoples had designed and built with none of the modern technology available to us today. The climb back up involved more uneven stone steps and climbing ladders for a 100 ft vertical climb. It was not a climb I would care to repeat anytime too soon, but very much worth it!!!

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