Friday, September 30, 2011

The Road to No Where and Mesa Verde

Cliff Palace-photograph by Horst Kelly

I didn't post yesterday as there was nothing to report....the car was not ready and I just did some cleaning in the Casita, took and hour walk around the perimeter of the camp and read up on Mesa Verde...I did learn that the city or state has built a road in Durango off of 160...only thing the "planners" didn't make sure they could get all the land they needed and proceeded with the project....until they hit the fence...private land and the owner said now the City has a road to no where...

This morning I got a call around 0930 that my car was ready....only a minor mechanical problem...though the repair bill wasn't that minor....but that's ok....came back to the campsite and got stuff organized and headed out for Mesa Verde...36 miles to the entrance and another 20 miles to the "fun stuff".....

The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde anywhere between AD 550 to 1300. These people were mainly subsistence farmers; they grew crops on nearby mesas. Their primary crop was corn, which was also was the major part of their diet. Men were also hunters which further increased their food supply. The women of the Anasazi were famous for the elegant basket weaving. Anasazi pottery is just as famous as their baskets; their artifacts, even today, are highly prized. Since the Anasazi kept no written records, their artifacts are the only link to understanding their interesting culture.
By 750 AD, the people were building mesa-top villages made of adobe. By the late 12th century they began to build the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous.
Mesa Verde is best known for cliff dwellings, which are structures built within caves and under outcropping in cliffs — including Cliff Palace, which is thought to be the largestcliff dwelling in North America. The Spanish term Mesa Verde translates into English as "green table."..ok..that's the history lesson.....
Cliff Palace-photograph by Horst Kelly
Now lets talk about the tour...Cliff Palace is a guided tour, cost is $3.00......they say it is a strenuous hike...well I walk between 6-10 miles on a daily this couldn't be a problem......right!....its only a quarter mile......its like the last quarter mile of Mt. Everest.....the hike includes five 8 to 10 foot ladders, including a 100 foot vertical climb to exit....and I was carrying a 20 lbs back pack of photo gear....let me say that if you have one or more of these issues  you may want to reconsider...first, if you have a issue with heights, second, if you have an issue with balance... last if you haven't got accustom to elevation......having said this, there was a guy in front of me that probably  weighted 350-400 lbs and had a real oxygen problem and made I don't the bottom line if he can do it so can I and everyone else...he was my hero of the day(haha)!!! The tour takes about an hour and the Ranger did an excellent job with the history of not only this dwelling but also the entire region of Mesa Verde...... 
Cliff Palace-photograph by Horst Kelly
This is one of those experience that will forever be etched in my memory...what a great day...since it was mid day, some of the photo's aren't the best...but the experience, and the memory where!!
Then I did the perimeter drive with 15 or so outlooks...what a day....I  took over 200 photo's...hopefully 20 or so will be keepers.....tomorrow its  north on the million dollar hiway...thanks for checking in....Horst sends

1 comment:

  1. We love the Durango area. There is so much to see and do there within the area. The loop from Delores, Telluride, Ridgeway, Silverton, and back to Durango must be beautiful this time of year. Wish we were there..........jc