Mesa Verde appeared on the horizon before we hit Cortez, CO. It is a treasure trove of cliff dwellings dating from around 1200 to 1300 AD, built by the indigenous Ancestral Puebloans—the Anasazi–who lived in the area since 550 AD. Their ancestors include current tribes such as the Zuni, Hopi, Santa Clara, Taos, Acoma.
Cliff Palace is down over a hundred stairs and up a few ladders. The Ancients scrambled up and down the rock walls with tiny foot and hand holds—the original rock climbers. Truly hundreds of rooms made of hand-shaped rocks and mud and kivas- rooms dug into the ground.
Balcony House was an adventure. We were able to walk through the dwelling–up and down long ladders and through narrow passage ways, crawling on our hands and knees through the exit tunnel and up more ladders to exit. Not for the claustrophobic or those with fear of hights.
We awoke our last day in Colorado with a RV frosted with snow. How appropriate! Now we’re off to Monticello, UT and Canyonlands.