Friday, April 3, 2015

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is simply amazing. The drive through the park goes on and on, and then you come across places that take your breath away. I'm glad I was there in the off-season (except the campground was closed) because the road was mostly empty and there was plenty of parking. It was pleasantly warm, and must be very hot in the summer. Some of the sites were closed but the famous Cliff Palace was open.

Every time I see a National Park sign I get excited!

This ruin of a ceremonial site sits atop a hill. It's difficult to photograph because there is no higher place to climb to, and the walls are tall.

Floor Plan

The Cliff Palace - it's a very elegant work of architecture. Some of the photos I took from across the canyon, and others from a nearby overlook. From the website - "The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the North American Continent. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they continued to reside in the alcoves, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century. By the late 1270s, the population began migrating south into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By 1300, the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended."

I hope to return here someday.

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