Exploring Mesa Verde

Thunderstorms rumble our first night
Thunderstorms rumble our first night

Tickled various shades of pink because we have time to stop for a few days in Mesa Verde on our way to Albuquerque, we plan to investigate this park as thoroughly as a crime solver collects clues. Our previous motorcycle motivated stops were too short to explore the ancient and scenic treasures being protected here and we hope to remedy that.

As soon as we pull into the campground we learn that diesel fuel sells here (yes, inside a National Park!) for almost 10 cents less per gallon than we saw anywhere on our ride here from Olathe.  Pleasantly surprised, Storm pumps diesel until the RV is full, drops our trailer in the convenient lot beside the gas station and heads out to find a temporary home in the spacious campground.  A tricky task because most of the sites are tent size, but Storm finally seesaws the RV crossways into a not terribly unlevel place on the Hopi Loop.

Ranger Lucinda shows up what not to do (pose for pictures) on the Ladders
Ranger Lucinda shows up what not to do (pose for pictures, look down) on the Ladders

As we begin our round of tours to various dwellings in the park, we notice a difference in the tone of the Ranger presentations.  Ten years ago, the tours emphasized the religious importance of the cliff dwellings. Each tour we took into the dwellings was conducted so reverently, I was afraid to speak above a whisper.  Apparently theories have been re-evaluated to consider that since there are no written records by the cliff dwellers, we really don’t know exactly what their reasons were for choosing the cliffs as homes (though most everyone is willing to make an educated guess).  While the importance of Kivas is explained during the tours, Rangers focus now on how very populated the Mesa was during the time that the dwellers cultivated crops here (more people lived in this part of the country then than live here now) and how the dwellings might have been used for daily life, trade, work and entertainment.

_DSC1380
Hollering down canyons like this produces excellent echos

One ranger related that archeologists tend to use religion as an explanation when no other clues exist.  But he cautioned that using that method, when (and if) archeologists are able to study remains of our civilization they may assume that those large rectangular boxes in all of our homes we call TVs were part of our religious worship.  So instead of whispering, on the Longhouse tour we were allowed to shout as a group out into the canyons to hear how the echoes from the dwelling may have allowed it to be used as a stage for the whole valley and that was awesome!

Sunset toward the La Sal mountains
Sunset toward the La Sal mountains
Balcony House
Balcony House

_DSC1357

Storm struggles up the steep footholds leaving Balcony House
Storm struggles up the steep footholds leaving Balcony House
Across a wildfire ravaged plain
Across a wildfire ravaged plain

 

Step House
Step House
Gotta love this paint job
Gotta love this paint job
This tree needed a rest - so Storm obliged it
This tree needed a rest – so Storm obliged it
Road in Mesa Verde
Road in Mesa Verde
Long House
Long House
Long House
Long House
From inside Long House
From inside Long House
Long House
Long House
After a 300 foot climb, Storm chooses a safe place to rest
After a 300 foot climb, Storm chooses a safe place to rest

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow Stormy (my personal full time RV mechanic and repairman) and me as we travel all over the US in our Country Coach RV. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks we learn!

6 Replies to “Exploring Mesa Verde”

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thank you, thank you, thank you – so glad you enjoyed!

  2. Nice pics, kids.

  3. And enjoyable commentary. Is hail normal that accompany thunderstorms?

  4. Great commentary. Is hail normal in thunderstorms out west?

    1. Thanks for the kind words. It sure seems like hail accompanies each storm out west. I would say of the 7 storms that I remember being in out here, 6 had hail. Thank goodness it has been pea size hail so far.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.