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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The day was absolutely beautiful, and this was a dessert landscape that I have never known.
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.
Lucas was in love with the sand, and as we hiked around the area, he just wanted to play around it in.
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.
Lucas lost interest pretty quickly, but Karl and Mirah stood and talked and observed together for quiet a while.
Back on the road, there was window house and tree house.
Then Balcony House.
Back on top of the mesa, we checked out the ruins of pit houses.
These older style pit houses, are different than those in Cliff palace, it was interesting to see the difference.
More scenic overlooks.
Again, Lucas just wanted to play in the sand.
This side of the canyon really showed all of the different homes built in this canyon.
Then Lucas really started to feel…done with the place.
It was getting late, and we were excited to see Adam and Belle, so we loaded back into the car, and headed to Albuquerque.