Wednesday, June 13, 2007

7:30AM - Breakfast Camped at Park Point.
We are heading to Far View Visitor Center and have stopped midway to have a peek at Park Point. This is the highest elevation in Mesa Verde Park at 8,427 feet.

A trail from the parking area leads up to an overlook. Little Mavicito captured a pic looking down on the Towns of Cortez and Mancos.
View from Park Point overlook.

11AM to 2PM - Cliff Palace and Balcony House Tours.
Little Mavicito and George bought tickets for the Cliff Palace and Balcony House. These are tours of villages that are built in the overhangs on the side of a cliff.

We were amazed at seeing the enormous work that had gone into constructing these villages that were built from stone, mud and wood.
Cliff Palace view from the place where tour begins.

Three story building in Cliff Palace.

Balcony House had some frightening ladders to climb. There were two 32 foot tall ladders. Just behind these ladders, if you had enough nerve to look in back of you as you climbed, were huge cliffs. Wow!
Looking up at the first ladder.

Looking down at people going up the first ladder.

Visitors to Balcony House went thru a crawl space tunnel [12 feet long]. When George went thru this crawl space, his shoulders touched the walls and his back rubbed the ceiling. This tunnel is very tiny!!
Crawl space tunnel in Balcony House.

The people of the community also lived on the mesa in comparatively ordinary homes. Many of these homes are called "pit houses", because they were constructed by digging a pit and putting walls and a roof over the pit made of wood poles and mud.
A pit house showing only the dug out.

The people lived in the area of Mesa Verde in pit houses and cliff dwellings for several hundred years. About 1300AD, something caused a move to the area which is now New Mexico and Arizona. Perhaps it was a long drought? Or maybe social upheaval? But descendants of these ancient people return to Mesa Verde even now to pay homage to their ancestral Puebloans.


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