Last week, I talked a bit about a side-trip I took to Fallingwater with Barb.  I thought I’d follow that up with a trip the two of us took a few years ago to Mesa Verde.

See, my brain doesn’t really work in a linear fashion.  The thing that reminded me of this particular trip was the fact that it was taken with Barb.  Although the trip itself will be told in a (sort of) linear fashion, the trips themselves are out of order.  We’ve gone back in time a bit for this one.

The trip to Mesa Verde was one of the few trips I’ve taken recently in which I didn’t have something beady attached to it as the main reason for the trip.  Generally, I try to add a few days on each side of a business trip for “fun.”  Barb and I didn’t even stop in bead stores on the way there or back.  Which actually surprises me.  How did we manage that?  I was working on a kit by Cynthia Rutledge, though….

Barb was visiting me in Taos at the time.  We took a day in Santa Fe, which I’ll tell you about another time, and snagged the truck for a two day jaunt across state lines (and they let me!) to see the cliff dwellings in Colorado.  The particular area we visited is called the Cliff Palace.

Here’s a little about the Cliff Dwellings, from Wikipedia:

Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world, or as he said, “preserve the works of man”. It occupies 81.4 square miles (211 km2) near the Four Corners and features numerous ruins of homes and villages built by the Ancestral Puebloan people, sometimes called the Anasazi. There are over 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people at the site.
The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde between 600 to 1300, though there is evidence they left before the start of the 15th century. They were mainly subsistence farmers, growing crops on nearby mesas. Their primary crop was corn, the major part of their diet. Men were also hunters, which further increased their food supply. The women of the Anasazi are famous for their elegant basket weaving. Anasazi pottery is as famous as their baskets; their artifacts are highly prized. The Anasazi kept no written records.

I made Barb drive up the side of the cliffs once we got into the Mesa Verde park.  The twisty turn-y roads freaked me out too much.  She did fine.  Take a look at these cliffs, though!

Here’s the sun over those same cliffs!

And…  our first view of the Cliff Dwellings (with Barb).  There’s a full photo from the same rail up at the top of this post.

And here’s some photos of us climbing around in the dwellings.  Yes, the sky is really that blue in the Southwest.

I’m not sure why we didn’t continue on to four corners or to Arches National Park in Utah – it was only two hours more.  I remember we talked about “next time,” but since I’m back in the Midwest now, we’re going to have to actually make an effort to go back.  We did stay overnight in Durango, which for some reason was completely booked up – the only available room we found smelled like smoke.

On the way back, we stopped on the way over the mountains to see snow.  I can’t remember if we were in New Mexico at this point or still in Colorado.  In September.  I thought it was exciting!