Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mesa Verde!!!!!!!!

What can I say?  It's one of the greatest places on Earth, and the kids loved it.  The Museum is as wonderful as ever, with the tiny dioramas that kids always find so fascinating, and a movie about the discovery of the cliff dwellings (not exactly factual, but it's a nice story...)

We only had 2 full days in Mesa Verde, and you really need more time to explore it all.  But we did a lot in 2 days! 

First we visited Spruce Tree House.  There was still frost on the trail and icicles on the trees in the shade, but it was very comfortable in the sun.  The kids got to go into a real kiva (with the roof rebuilt in the original style).  Dudeman was really fascinated with kiva design and how the Ancestral Puebloans built deflectors for heat and smoke.  Supersim found it interesting that the people trapped and kept wild turkeys in little pens behind the dwellings.  The kids had already learned about grinding corn with the mano and matate, so it was interesting to see real ones there.  
Our Cliff Palace tour was in the afternoon, a smart suggestion from the ranger.  The sun had melted the frost and even with the breeze moving through the canyon, we were perfectly warm.  Mimi wasn't sure she wanted to climb the ladders to get out of the canyon so she stayed at the top and took pictures.    

Our tour guide asked where we were all from--there were visitors from Germany, Israel, Ireland, and Australia as well as several states.  We weren't allowed into the kivas but we did get to poke our heads into one tower to see a pictograph.  It was a red square pattern and Supersim said it reminded her of a rug. 

Dad Sparklee remembers climbing and running all over the Sun Temple as a kid, but you aren't allowed to do that anymore.  You can only peek in the 2 windows for a view of the narrow hallways inside.  I know the people were smaller then, but even so, it seems very claustrophobic in there! 

Square Tower was glowing in the evening sun.  Mesa Verde is one of those places that just feels magical to me.  The kids are already asking when we can go back! 

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