New Mexico Trip Begins: Mesa Verde National Park

Wednesday night after work, we loaded up into the Mini van, and headed out on our trip! We made it to Monticello Ut, and stayed in a little place called the Blue Mountain Horse Head Inn.

IMG_3012.JPG IMG_1123.JPG

It was just a little roadside Motel. The fact that it had ACTUAL keys was almost too much. We felt like we were in the Lost Room. If you get that reference, I love you forever.


A few hours down the road, through Utah, and into Colorado, we were in Mesa Verde National Park. I have wanted to visit cliff dwellings for years. This trip presented an opportunity. We got into the park while it was still morning. The drive to the ruins is actually pretty long. 20 miles. But the road to them is actually quite lovely.

IMG_3013.JPG IMG_3014.JPG
IMG_3015.JPG IMG_3016.JPG

After a few scenic overlooks, we went to the archaeology museum in the park. We learned all about the ancient Pueblo people that used to live in the area.

IMG_3017.JPG IMG_3018.JPG
IMG_3019.JPG IMG_3020.JPG
IMG_3021.JPG IMG_3022.JPG

We learned about how they lived most of their time in the region on top of the Mesa. They built pit houses, and did farming for a thousand years.

Then they moved down to build below in the lea of the canyons. This only lasted about 75 years, when they left the area. There was a 20 year drought, that finally made it impossible for them to stay any longer.

IMG_3023.JPG IMG_3024.JPG

These little dioramas were seriously so cool and informative.

We went on to learn about what the people ate, how they built their homes, made their clothing…it was all so fascinating.


Beautiful pots and pictures and of course jewelry!

IMG_3026.JPG IMG_3027.JPG
IMG_3028.JPG IMG_3029.JPG

After learning all we could there we headed out to see the Spruce House. Nestled in a little canyon. The site is closed due to falling rocks and off season. But the views were still spectacular.

IMG_3030.JPG IMG_3031.JPG
IMG_3033.JPG IMG_3034.JPG
IMG_3035.JPG IMG_3036.JPG

The day was absolutely beautiful, and this was a dessert landscape that I have never known.

IMG_3037.JPG IMG_3038.JPG


It was fascinating to see what lengths these peoples would go to build on these cliffs. Places that seemed so far up and out, were places that were made to live in.




IMG_3041.JPG IMG_3042.JPG

Lucas was in love with the sand, and as we hiked around the area, he just wanted to play around it in.

IMG_3043.JPG IMG_3044.JPG


We went forward to see the big show, Cliff Palace.


Such an amazing place. Since we spent all that time in the museum, I could identify the different rooms and structures. Like I could see the pit houses, in the most modern style. Then realizing the different ways that the rooms were build with chimnyes etc…it was quiet impressive and beautiful.

IMG_3046.JPG IMG_3047.JPG
IMG_3048.JPG IMG_3049.JPG
IMG_3050.JPG IMG_3051.JPG
IMG_3052.JPG IMG_3053.JPG




Lucas lost interest pretty quickly, but Karl and Mirah stood and talked and observed together for quiet a while.

IMG_3059.JPG IMG_3060.JPG

Back on the road, there was window house and tree house.

IMG_3061.JPG IMG_3062.JPG

Then Balcony House.

IMG_3063.JPG IMG_3065.JPG

Back on top of the mesa, we checked out the ruins of pit houses.

IMG_3079.JPG IMG_3078.JPG


IMG_3069.JPG IMG_3070.JPG


IMG_3071.JPG IMG_3072.JPG

These older style pit houses, are different than those in Cliff palace, it was interesting to see the difference.

IMG_3073.JPG IMG_3074.JPG
IMG_3075.JPG IMG_3076.JPG


IMG_3083.JPG IMG_3081.JPG

More scenic overlooks.

IMG_3084.JPG IMG_3085.JPG
IMG_3086.JPG IMG_3087.JPG

Again, Lucas just wanted to play in the sand.

IMG_3089.JPG IMG_3090.JPG

This side of the canyon really showed all of the different homes built in this canyon.



IMG_3093.JPG IMG_3094.JPG IMG_3091.JPG

Then Lucas really started to feel…done with the place.

IMG_3095.JPG IMG_3096.JPG
IMG_3097.JPG IMG_3098.JPG


IMG_3100.JPG IMG_3101.JPG
IMG_3102.JPG IMG_3103.JPG

It was getting late, and we were excited to see Adam and Belle, so we loaded back into the car, and headed to Albuquerque.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *