Get there early!
02.06.2009 - 02.06.2009 76 °F
Still Room 314, Best Western, Cortez, CO
Although we've been coming to the USA since 1981, we've never learned so much as we have in the past few days about the history and current situation of Native Americans (= "Red Injuns": Arthur).
Mesa Verde is a National Park which means that, these days, tourists flock from round the world (but mostly the US) to see the wonders contained therein. In the old days when we used to come 'out of season' we would have these parks almost to ourselves. No longer.
By going early this morning (we were at the entrance by 7.30), dodging the guided walks and beating bus parties, we were still able to have many of these sights to ourselves today.
I have just browsed the pictures we took this morning and I can see in even more detail what we could see this morning. Just incredible.
The Anasazi lived around here from 500BC to 1400AD. The amazing village structures we saw yesterday and yet more of today were built by the Anasazi under the rim of the canyon walls to protect themselves from the weather and from their enemies.
Take a look at this canyon:
Along the exposed rock near the top there are overhangs, and under those, this is what you will find:-
These are not models! These are villages perched under the overhang and occupied by communities of Anasazi around 11-1400AD. The ladders shown in the last picture allow tour parties to clamber all over these wonderful places, now a World Heritage site.
They do have to be accompanied by rangers, but we feel that, in order to preserve these wonders, visitors like Mr America here:-
and his companions, should not be allowed to swarm all over them. Off soap box.
Here is what it used to look like (taken with early Box Brownie):-
And this guy is a bit upset at all these visitors too!
Obviously I cannot provide all the history of this charmed place. But you can find more here if you wish.
Thanks for your comments Paul and Brien & Jan. All much appreciated and replied to here.
Last night we ate at Denny's retro "Classic Diner". A good value and enjoyable meal. Especially as John finally swallowed his pride and ordered a "Seniors" meal. Cheaper and more manageable portions. It was their shrimp skewer, very good. While Bob had a delicious grilled chicken dinner.
Arthur says ***** coz it's Denny's.
We had a stroll down Cortez's Main Street this afternoon and wandered into the local museum. Very interesting and full of old ladies acting as volunteers but not being able to operate the till.
See you all soon. Off to Ouray, Colorado, in the still snowy Rockies, we hope, tomorrow.