Posts Tagged ‘mesa verde’

Road Trip: Mesa Verde

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Today was an amazing day because we spent almost the entire day checking out the different Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde. I have always wanted to see these ruins and finally I did, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. The first ruins we visited was the Cliff Palace ruins. This dwelling is the biggest in North America and is approximately 700 to 900 years old.

After the Cliff Palace we went to the Balcony House. This was an extremely intimidating hike for me. To get to the cliff dwellings you have to go down a huge amount of stairs and from there it gets really tricky. You have to climb up a 32 foot ladder. I am not particularly afraid of heights but I got pretty freaked out by this. It was a huge ladder over an even bigger cliff. It also didn’t help that the ladder got super heated so it burned to hold onto the rungs. By the end I was ready to freak out. Can you tell by my face that I was slightly concerned?

I made it though and it was worth it. At the top we got to go through the dwellings which were significantly smaller than the Cliff Palace but still very interesting. It had an overlook over a huge canyon without any walls to separate you from the huge drop.

The big ladder was not the only difficult part of tis trek. You also have to pass through a tunnel only 18 inches wide. INCHES not feet, think about it. It was not for the faint hearted but I didn’t think it was that difficult.

It was really funny watching people trying to squeeze into the tiny space. What is interesting about this is that it was really the only way out of the cliff dwellings during the 11 hundreds and 12 hundreds besides a foot hold climb up a 150 foot wall. So that means every day to go anywhere the inhabitants had to go through this tunnel. After this there were two more 15 feet ladders for us to climb but with the idea that the inhabitants had much worse to go through it wasn’t as bad.

The last ruins we saw was the Spruce Tree House dwellings. This one was really fun because you could go right into the living spaces and felt more interactive than the other ruins.

We ended the day here in Colorado springs and we are almost done with our trip. Just a few more days until we get to Michigan. I hope to have more time soon to go back over some of these posts and make new posts with more details and more photos. Stay tuned.


Road Trip: Monument Valley

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Yesterday was our biggest day yet. We woke up really early to watch the sunrise on the Grand Canyon. We got the best spot, a small upraised platform of a rock that we sat on over looking Bright Angel’s Point.  It was a nice sunrise but very cold out, I spotted Waldo from up there ;).

After sunrise we said goodbye to our beautiful cabin and started our long trek across Arizona to get to Mesa Verde National Park. We made a lot of little stops along our way. The first of which was the Vermillion Cliffs. They were these magnificent red rock cliffs that were gigantic.

Right next to the cliffs were the Cliff Dweller’s houses. They were tiny little houses made out of these leaning rock sculptures. It was incredible. There were native american jewelery stands all lined up in front of it.

The next big thing we saw was Horseshoe Bend. This was beyond incredible. Also a little scary. Out in the middle f nowhere the Colorado River wraps around this huge stone pillar and creates a gooseneck. The water was so green and it was beautiful. We were incredibly high up from it and to get the full shot we had to stand on the edge of these little cliffs super high off the ground. I swear I had like three heart attacks while trying to get the picture. But I got it and it was amazing.

Sadly we didn’t get to go to Antelope Canyon where the Slot Canyons were because we didn’t have enough time. I really wanted to go but time wise it was impossible. Next in our line up was the Navajo National monument. It was an overlook at an old cliff dwelling that had been abandoned after a twenty year drought.

Monument Valley was next on our list to tackle. We headed into the tribal park and looked at all the cool rock structures like the Mittens. It was very interesting but we didn’t go deep into the park because it would take to long. We still got some good shots though.

We were going to go to four corners and take a picture of me doing a bridge into all four states but for some unknown reason it was closed. It was really disapointing, I had been looking forward to that for a long time. Even with the minor pit falls it was still incredibly fun but tiring. We made it into Mesa Verde and we will be exploring that today.