Friday, July 15, 2011

A First For Us...

Today, was a first for us.  Our destination,


Mesa Verde National Park.

We entered the park, and found that the visitor center was


15 miles up, up, and up.  When we arrived at the park headquarters,


Andrew, Lauren, and I collected our official park stamps.  We also signed up for a tour to Cliff Palace.  However, in the meantime, we had plenty of time to look around at


Spruce Tree House before our tour.  We followed the walkway down to the bottom where we could get


a better look.  We even got to


do a little climbing around.

Soon, it was time to head down the road to meet


our park ranger for our tour of


Cliff Palace.

  This is the crown jewel of Mesa Verde National Park and is an architectural masterpiece by any standard.  It is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.  They were discovered in December 1888, by two cowboys out herding cattle.  They commented that even through the blowing snow, the cliffs in canyon looked like a magnificent city.  It is thought that these dwellings date back to AD 1200.

Well, back to the tour...the ranger took us


down narrow paths and up


ladders until we reached the base of the dwellings.

We stopped for a


brief history lesson about the people that lived here in the Mesa Verde and why they moved from the


Mesa Top to the alcoves below.

We saw the


chambers that were build for ceremonial uses.

When our tour ended, we still needed to get out.  Well, what goes down, now must go


up and



  When we finally wiggled our way up and out, we were starving.  We headed to the nearest


picnic area.

  After enjoying our lunch and catching our breath, we took a drive around the Top Mesa Loop before it was time to leave the park.

Before we left the park, we stopped at the entrance, where I was issued my very own Senior Park Pass.  Now, I don't have to share with Mark.  There are some advantages to turning 62.

Once, we were back in Durango, we made a stop in historic downtown to do


some shirt shopping.  Then it was off to


dinner where we reflected about our day.

It is said the Mesa Verde National Park isn't easy to get to, but, it was a great day and we all agreed it was well worth the trip.


  1. So very glad you toured Mesa Verde! Isn't it fabulous? We were just in awe as we toured it. Hugs to you!

  2. We were there several years ago and did the same tour. So much fun but I almost fainted when I saw the ladder to get out!!! LOL Great photos of Mesa Verde!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  3. We've also been there but having toured MANY cliff dwellings before, chose not to do the tour. I thought it was a beautiful park and we stayed only a few miles down the road from it in the KOA Kampground.

    Deb & Rod

  4. WOW....that is really something! "Squawmama" what did the ladder look like? That may keep me from going there! ~Tricia

  5. What great coverage of the dwellings. I have it on our list. The steps looked steep!

  6. What is so fascinating about Mesa Verde is what we really don't know about the people that lived there. We can only speculate and wonder........

  7. WOW= what gorgeous views! I have seen lots of blogs with pics of Mesa Verde, but none as wonderful as yours! We will have to get there on our next trip west. Thanks for *bringing us along* !!!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard