Thursday, September 27, 2012

American Southwest Trip: Day 5 II-Mesa Verde National Park

"Mesa Verde's Largest Cliff Dwelling
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing five, 8-10ft (2.6-3m) ladders, on a 100ft (30m) vertical climb. Total walking distance is about 1/4-mile (400m), round-trip. The tour begins at Cliff Palace Overlook, an 8-mile (13km), 20-minute drive from the Visitor Center."
It was a quick lunch for both of us. We
arrived at the entrance of the cliff. We
saw a small gate on this stair. These
archaeological sites were well protected
by the park service.    
The view of the entire Cliff Palace. There was a
group at the site. This scene are all over the
souvenir stores. 
I didn't remember our ranger's name, just called him
"Ranger Handsome"
The main control gate was at the bottom 
where the trail turned.
This was a steep and narrow rocky
stair but it definitely was more safe
than the wooden stairs.  
This trail was curved by the Civilian  
Conservation Corp.  
The ranger "handsome" was very thoughtful to let us
stay under the shade to listen to his introduction about
this area. 
                            The sun was very bright especial this 
                                   elevation of 7,000ft (2,134m.)

The clouds covered the sun. It temperature cooled 
down a little. It was time for us to experience
the ancient dwelling. 
"Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas.  Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features.  The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120." the park website
The handmade straight wall 
The lowest window in this picture
was the only place that visitors could
touch on the archaeological site. The
wall around the windows was polished  

by the human oil and became shining.
Why was it so special?
This was the only room in the entire
dwellings in the national park that had
petroglyph on the inside wall. 
Heading back to the rim which was
their ancient farmlands. 
It was not as dangerous as the 32ft wooden ladder at
Balcony House. But I still need to be cautious for my
steps. Accident happens when people ignor the
danger and become careless. 
It took one day for ancient Puebloan women to grind corn for the entire family for one meal. The average life expectancy of the Puebloan was about 35-40 years old. At the age of 30 years old, their teeth were gone. 
The ancient Puebloans used the
Juniper tree's trunks to support
their house. It took them about 8
hours to cut the tree trunk
according to the rangers.
Yucca Plant: leaves for making 
rope; roots were used for detergent for
the ancient Puebloans. 
House of Many Windows 
We were lucky to see this deer on our way back to
the Far View Visitor Center.  
We went back to the visitor center again since we
didn't have time to look around the center.  
Lodge across the visitor center: It might be a good
idea to stay there one night to watch the sky or
shoot the night sky photos. 
The displays in the center. Of course there was a
souvenir shop inside.
This mountain road took us to our hotel. 
It was a down hill time for this bicyclist. 
The View of the valley 
Said Good bye to Mesa Verde Park: 
"Ninety percent of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings contain 10 rooms or less. One-third have only one or two rooms. This should help to put the more famous cliff dwellings of Cliff Palace (150 rooms), Long House (150 rooms), Spruce Tree House (130 rooms), and Balcony House (40 rooms) into perspective." 

My super was this southwest style salad in McDonald. 
Our night at Cortez, Co
We were surprised that our next room neighbor was
the one who helped us to take pictures of my husband
and me at the Sun Temple site. Actually, you will meet
the same people again and again at the same loop but
at different sites in this national park.  
These are my collections I purchased during the trip. 
Sunset at Cortez, Co

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