Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mesa Verde plus a slap on the back!!

This wide open canyon is littered with countless empty homes and sacred grounds of the Anasazi, the Ancestral Puebloans to be precise.

Why would anyone want to leave this - Cliff Palace

We're told they may have been here for defensive purposes - but there are no signs of war. Did they leave to be closer to water? Even though they lived in these dried out canyons they still had access to water right in their very own homes (seep springs). The best reason I heard is they found the Kachina cult and moved towards it. But it's all part of it, a complex set of reasons why they up and left out of nowhere, like they had a last supper and left the next morning, tools and vessels in plain sight, with these grandly architected and sacred ruins left here, amazingly intact, for us to explore and ponder and marvel at.

Carebear and I, very much enjoying that the tour portion of this site was DONE! Kids and tours don't mix. Don't worry though. As soon as the tour is done and people start to filter out, we drop our guards and really explore all the many wonders and possibilities of the lives that were once here.

The kids LOVED every moment of it. It is just as fascinating to them as it is to us.

Away from the rest of the tour - on lookout duty (and peering through windows).

This is from our second tour at Balcony House - I know, we never learn. But it is a good thing. Because this was the best one!!! Cliff dwellings just leave you in AWE! Come on - a house in a cliffside!!! It is just unbelievable. And it was quite the scary journey to get there. This picture scares me. She can't get a good grip with those posts being so large. Just climbing the face of the canyon, 32 rungs up.

It was a very informative tour. Which is great!! Very interesting to learn how they build their home on the cliff and how they would spend their time - it was not very leisurely. This balcony is a straight-up original, where the house got its name. You could see 900-year old juniper bark fibers protruding where the cement wore away.

Me holding Jarom, Bella watching Milly on her leash, and Matt held Orion. I am a wuss when it comes to heights. I'm mean. Just look at this picture. Do you see the tour guide's feet (the one in the green ranger pants) or the other guy in tan pants. Their backs are to the cliff. I was worried one of them would mindlessly take a step back and fall to their death.

Family photo

Bum shot. This is exiting the home - which is the very same way they came in and out. A tiny tunnel of course.

A better view - coming out.

I made sure to stay just about on top of them.

It was nice that there were handrails and fencing.

Kind of get the feeling these turkey vultures know something I don't.

Our last stop for the day - Spruce Tree House. It was so beautiful. Out of the three homes we visited this was the only one that made real sense to me. It is tucked up under one amazing canyon. And every window view looked out at a forest of trees. Between the rock and trees is air and sky. I can imagine living here and hearing the wind coming down that canyon and through the trees. One thing is for sure. They all had one amazing view of the stars. Forget city lights!

Jarom and Bella becoming Junior Rangers

Last morning at our little acorn grove

All the kids collected baggies of acorns

On the way home, right before you get to Moab, is a little place called Hole N' The Rock!! And we being the very curious cats that we are had to check it out.

Long story short. Old man and lady built their home in a rock - a big one at that! It even was a diner at one point where the man was the fry cook and mam was the server. They were both very hard creative workers. And you can even visit their grave as you leave the house.

Never never give up my friends. We have tried a few times to locate dinosaur tracks (footprints) with no success.

This is the fruit of our labors.

The water really helps it show - Victory is OURS!!

Nothing like a good sprint to the car for the long but short journey home.

My little doe, basking in the warm desert light.


Harris Family said...

you need to read the "Undaunted" by Gerald Lund. He writes LDSfiction/nonfiction like the Work and the Glory- I know that was a cheesy series but the Undaunted is sooo good. It it about Hole in the Rock- you have to read it now that you have been there. I want to get down there some day.

Matt: I think we can garden here but it requires grow boxes and buying soil?! So We are renting -- I am not sure if we will attempt gardening yet. Congrats on buying the house!!

Katt said...

Do you guys EVER sit still! Such a fun life you lead.

crazy christensen family said...

I want to go here with my kids! We went to some ruins in Lake Powell this past month and the kids had so much fun climbing around in them. We had to boat into the area to get to them but it was worth it! Do you think you could do this with a backpack on with a child in the backpack? I don't know if I could trust Tanner and Evan. Love your canning! You need to tell me how to do fruit leather and how to store it!

Heidi Daniels said...

I'm 95% sure, that one time as a kid on the way to see my dads side of the family in the midle of no where in Arizona, we stopped at the same place. Or one that looked just like it!

mooncowboy said...

Sounds cool Lisa--which ruins did you go to?