The Great US Roadtrip- Mesa Verde

How do you describe Mesa Verde? beautiful doesn’t cut it, amazing falls flat and breath taking is over used these days. I’m going to choose the word “inspiring”. Inspiring that people with such limited technology could build such beautiful cities, inspiring that they would use the very landscape of their homes to protect their way of life from attacking outsiders, inspiring that it has lasted to this day for future generations to observe, learn from and find inspiration from.

Mesa Verde, for those of you who are not aware of this Colorado treasure, is a UNESCO world heritage site and the best kept history of the ancient pueblo people of the Colorado Mesa region. Here is the link to the Wikipedia page for more history and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_Verde_National_Park

I first heard of this site from a USA national parks guide book, and have fallen absolutely in love with it. Being a huge history buff, I loved learning about this people group that I knew so little about, and was fascinated with the archeological sites we got to visit. We went on two separate hikes to two different sites, and both were amazing for different reasons.

The first had the most amazing view and a literal city of buildings and history to observe. The second had a literal “breathtaking” hike up steep cliffs, ladders that suspended over nothing and paths that disappeared into rock walls or left you hanging on to a path wide enough for an agile mountain goat and little else. I happen to love heights and adrenaline, so i loved every minute of it. But this is the kind of post that is going to rely heavily on pictures as my words just can’t describe this amazing place. Enjoy!

the view from the top of the mesa

the view from the top of the mesa

the city palace

the city palace

descending down into a kiva- the underground dwelling of family groups

descending down into a kiva- the underground dwelling of family groups

an above ground dwelling place for multiple families

an above ground dwelling place for multiple families

some of the narrow steps straight up the cliff side which have been cut to accommodate tourists. The natives simply climbed the cliffs using small finger and toe holes the would cut into the rock. This allowed only one climber at a time which made it super easy to defend their home as invaders would have to climb down one at a time, totally exposed to waiting archers or one man holding a spear.

some of the narrow steps straight up the cliff side which have been cut to accommodate tourists. The natives simply climbed the cliffs using small finger and toe holes the would cut into the rock. This allowed only one climber at a time which made it super easy to defend their home as invaders would have to climb down one at a time, totally exposed to waiting archers or one man holding a spear.

a narrow passage through the rock connecting one cliff village to the next one. It was probably widened to accommodate tourists

a narrow passage through the rock connecting one cliff village to the next one. It was probably widened to accommodate tourists

more narrow stairs

more narrow stairs

climbing ladders over cliffs

climbing ladders over cliffs

good thing i love heights

good thing i love heights

me and Cat in front of the city palace dwelling

me and Cat in front of the city palace dwelling

After our trip to Mesa Verde, we were off to our next big hike, Antelope Canyon. It wasn’t until we were on our way that we learned that we had just narrowly avoided total disaster. The night that we had driven through the rain leaving Denver is the same night that half of Colorado flooded. Counting our lucky stars, we drove to Arizona, once again in the pouring rain. So much for the desert being dry. We definitely brought the wettest summer the south west had ever seen with us!

The Medical Diagnosis

Cost: $10 park entrance fee per vehicle, $4 for the ranger guided tour of the cliff sites (since they are UNESCO protected, it is not allowed to visit them without a guide)

Things to See: besides the two sites we went and saw, there are many more to visit. Since we were pressed for time we just saw the top two and they were well worth it!

Story Time

Have you visited this UNESCO Heritage site? what other UNESCO sites have you visited?

Advertisements

One thought on “The Great US Roadtrip- Mesa Verde

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s