Today we detoured from our Utah itinerary to go to Mesa Verde in Colorado to see the Anasazi ruins there. Unfortunately, it was another foggy and snowy morning.
We headed to the park and climbed to an elevation of over 7000 feet. Near the top there was a pull-out so you could look back down into the valley. Hmmm, not such a great view.
But we were more than rewarded when we got to the overlook at Palace Cliff.
I think like many other people, I’ve always been fascinated by these dwellings built into the cliff sides.
It was interesting to learn that the people who built them had lived and farmed for years up on the mesas before moving into the canyons, and continued to grow their corn on the mesas.
And they really didn’t live here very long before moving on, probably because of continuing drought.
Across the canyon we could see another small dwelling.
We took the Ranger led tour into the village.
It was so interesting to learn about the Kivas, the sacred rooms.
We marveled at the architecture. Imagine, those logs are from the 1200′s. I expect stone to last that long, but logs?
The view from the village, looking up the canyon, was truly amazing.
We also hiked down a trail to view one of the other villages a few miles away.
And on our way out of the park, the weather had lifted enough to see the view of the valley below!
From Mesa Verde we headed toward Moab. The day had been overcast, but the temperature reached 53 degrees. Suddenly, we were in a downpour, and the temperature dropped to 40 degrees in about three minutes! Despite the change in weather, we decided to go to Canyon Lands National Park.
The sky was still threatening, but we could see blue off in the distance.
We hiked several of the trails and were rewarded with petroglyphs.
Aren’t these hand prints fascinating?
After nearly a week in Utah, you wonder how many more rocks you can possibly take photos of, but…
…they are all so different,
and the sun had finally come out.
I’d been waiting for this, because it really effects the colors of the rocks.
So we kept hiking and kept snapping photos.
These are called mushrooms.
We hiked an area of potholes, with only rock carins to mark the trail.
With all the recent rain, lots of the potholes were filled with water.
Bob is much braver about getting close to the rim than I am!
As we were leaving the park, there was a pull out for Newspaper Rock. It didn’t sound all that exciting, because I was picturing a rock shaped like a newspaper. Instead, it was a rock that had been used as a record for centuries!
I was thrilled! I love all kinds of primitive art.
It was so cool to see goats, horses, hunters and so much more.
Another great day in the Southwest!