The family went on a one day and two nights trip to Mesa Verde National Park this week. We drove 7 hours to Durango, where we stayed, then drove another 45 min to Mesa Verde through amazing beauty for a full day of viewing and touring.
Mesa Verde was extremely beautiful and took my breath away. It was fascinating to learn about the Indians that lived there over 1400 years ago (from 550 A.D. to 1300), and seeing their dwelling places left behind like ghost towns, was awe.
Here are photos from that trip:
^ This is the view from our first hotel. It was tucked off the side of the main road and was surrounded by this gorgeous golf course and cliff.
^ The furniture was a bit outdated but the view made up for it.
^Another view from the hotel.
^ Getting sunscreen on before heading out into the heat for the tours.
^ View before heading to the tour sites.
^ Everything was not all beautiful. There was a stretch of land that looked like this. It was a quiet, sad, and almost ominous drive through this area. We learned from the tour guides that this was the result of a fire caused by lightning in 2002. It will take at least 300 years to grow back to the what it originally looked like.
^ We visited the museum where we saw dioramas, displays, and watched a short video on the history of the Indians in Mesa Verde. Kida had seen the video already at school so she rolled her eyes and complained for the 20 minutes I was watching with my mouth opened…LOL.
^ This was the first dwelling we saw called, Spruce Tree House. It was a self-guided tour.
^ We went inside a Kiva, a large circular underground area made out of rock walls and clay and is used for ceremonial rituals/daily living. In the photo, Kylie is climbing out.
^ View while waiting for our first tour: Balcony House.
^ On this tour, we climbed a 32 feet ladder to the dwelling. We also went through doors which were just tiny crack or openings between rocks. The spaces were so small I almost thought I wouldn’t make it across but there were people who were much bigger and they made it without a problem. I did put a few scratches on my camera though.
^ An open Kiva.
^ There were quite a few people in this tour group.
On our exit, we climbed two 10-foot ladders and then the side of a 60-foot cliff with stone steps carved in. It was pretty steep and I was scared for the girls but they enjoyed it.
^ The second tour: Cliff Palace.
^ Down in the dwellings looking up. The top right corner of the photo is where we had waited for this tour.
^ On our exit from Mesa Verde.
^ This is what it should look like.
^ This view was during our drive back to Durango. Words cannot describe how breathtaking this area was.
It was a wonderful trip full of history. It warms my heart to have experienced this.