Sep 17, 2001
Durango, Colorado to Telluride, Colorado
Ever hear of Mesa Verde National Park? Me neither, but then again what
do I know, right? Mesa Verde is Spanish for "Green Table"
(hey...we're multilingual here) and that's a pretty fair description of
the place. Go through the gate and the first thing you do is climb up a
_really_ steep mountain and then you're on top of the table, and where
its not burned its green.. From
approximately A.D. 600 to 1300 people lived and flourished in the area.
In the last 75 to 100 years they built elaborate stone villages
in the canyon walls (sorry..no handicap access) and then just moved away.
Why is anyone's guess.
Mieko handled the rocks, I did the weather.
Right: burned forest from a fire last year. Left: my bike enjoys the view.
Here's Balcony House, one of the 600 cliff dwellings. It is known that
they were occupied by the Anasaji,
predecessors of the modern Hopi Indians. There are springs in the cliffs and that may be why they built their
homes, it may also have been for security from attack. Whatever the reason
its a complex structure that
didn't happen without some pretty well developed engineering ability, more than you might expect from an
illiterate society. These dwellings were small, holding maybe 50 people
and being in the middle of canyon
walls didn't exactly offer easy access to shopping .
Rest area at cliff's edge.
Pretty much immediately after we left the park the weather turned to heavy, frozen rain. Guess we left the
weather to the wrong person. The original plan was to go to Ourey but
we decided to keep feeling in our fingers instead.
In the picture above, our first view of the snow covered Rockies.