On the Road Adventures

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 1 Mesa Verde

The Wetherill Mesa is not as heavily visited as the Chapin Mesa where the Cliff Palace is.  We got tickets for a guided tour of Long House.  There was a small group of us and a very interesting ranger who obviously loves his job.  We walked down (there’s that down stuff again) along the edge of the canyon to get to the house.  Then once we got there, we had to climb up to get into the house itself.  The Ancestors probably didn’t use ladders like this, and certainly didn’t have nice paved trails and stairs.  Very nimble people, those Ancestors!

312 up the ladder

It was beautifully cool in the shade but the sun was fierce!

314 Kiva

They built storage areas for their food high up on the walls to keep the rodents out.  Just going to the pantry was quite a feat of balance and dexterity!
309 Mesa Verde

313 ruins

The kiva.  So many questions, so much speculation about what the kivas were for.  It’s certain they were ceremonial – cathedrals in miniature.

317 Granery

321 Step House

In the evening, we went back to the Cultural Center (after some serious re-hydration) to see some Navaho dancers, Rainbow Dancers.

328 Naatsiiliid Dancers

Seems there’s a lot to see around here, so we’ll be staying a few days longer

Once we hiked out of the canyon (up, UP, UP) we rested a moment, had some more water, and then hiked back down, down, down to yet another site, Step House, which we could visit without a guide.  Imagine what those cowboys thought a hundred some years ago when they were just riding along and spotted something like this!

326 Step House

  The dancers had beautiful turquoise!

329 Rainbow Dancers

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