29 Days – 6,500 Miles – 19 States
7 National Parks
Several State Parks – 6,000+ Photos
1 Trillion Insects Squished by Car Windshield
From 108 Degrees to Snow
From 282 Feet Below Sea Level to 12,000+ Feet
Bison, Elk, Prairie Dogs, Lizards, Wild Horses
Elvis, Aliens, John Wayne Westerns
Walking In The Footsteps of Forrest Gump
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
MONTEZUMA VALLEY OVERLOOK
SQUARE TOWER HOUSE (South End of Park)
Our first view of a cliff dwelling was at Square Tower House at the south end of the park.
Throughout the park, there are walking trails connecting various sites.
Here are some photos of flowers and interesting things we saw along the trails.
PIT HOUSES AND VILLAGES
SUN POINT PUEBLO
Our next stop on the Mesa Top Loop was the Sun Point Pueblo.
SUN POINT VIEW
OAK TREE HOUSE
According to the Cultural Preservation site Cy Ark:
“While archaeological evidence points to the construction and primary use of Fire Temple as being late in the chronology of Mesa Verde (1200 CE – 1300 CE), its religious significance likely has far deeper roots in the belief systems of Puebloan peoples.”
“Both Fire Temple and the nearby Sun Temple were linked with sun-fire-serpent worship in the service of fertility and agricultural productivity, as practiced by the inhabitants of Mesa Verde. Evidence indicates that the inhabitants of nearby New Fire House may have been the tenders of the ‘eternal flame’ of Fire Temple, whose large central fire pit was seemingly kept burning at all times for both religious and practical use. Fire Temple fell into disuse and abandonment in the late 1200s, as did the surrounding communities at Mesa Verde.”
OK, I had to look twice because I thought it say Hemingway House.
SPRUCE TREE HOUSE AND MUSEUM
CEDAR TREE TOWER
As we drove around the park, there were several areas where there was
evidence of large fires similar to what we saw in Alaska when we lived there.
Although burned tree trunks remain, new life is sprouting up from the forest floor.
Nearing the center of the park – Far View Area.
After lunch, we drove down the west side of the park on Wetherill Mesa.
PARK POINT OVERLOOK
Since we had reached the end of the road, it was time to head back to the entrance.
But first, we want to stop at the Park Point Overlook, the highest point in the park.
We drove by earlier, but wanted to save it for when we were leaving.
TIME TO HEAD BACK TO THE HOTEL
It’s been a great day exploring Mesa Verde National Park, but we’re tired and ready to call it a day.
We returned to the hotel and relaxed watching TV until bedtime.
Tomorrow, we return to Utah (for the 4th or 5th time this week!) to go to Arches NP.
Hope you will join us!
Mileage Today: 101 Miles
Trip Total: 4,132 Miles
PROCEED TO DAY 19 – MESA VERDE NP TO ARCHES NP, UTAH AND GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO