Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Camp Bores: Mesa Verde National Park

Yesterday we were up early and drove 1 hour to Mesa Verde National Park. The last and final National Park in Colorado that we needed to visit together. Mr B grew up traveling in a pop-up camper so he's been to most of these parks already. However, to me, this was all new.

We arrived at the visitor center and paid for tickets to tour 2 of the three "ruins" tours offered - The Balcony House and Cliff Palace. 

Ranger Drew was our first tour guide - he works at the park in the summer, but spends his winters as a real life archeologist. To say he was passionate about the history of this place would be a total understatement.

He took the two of us and 48 others down to 1 of the 600 alcoves in park, where we got to climb a man-made ladder straight to the home that once belonged to 40(ish) Ancestry Pueblo people 800 years ago. That's crazy right? 

These incredible Pueblo people had a life span into the mid 30's. They began working as farmers as early as they could and spent the second half of their days building their homes in a hole in the side of a cliff. 

Majority of the home is original to when it was discovered in the late 1800's. The park simply maintains it as best as they can. What I find amazing is that they let humans roam around inside. The current Pueblo people believe the park should leave the "ruins" alone. They were built with materials from the earth and should be returned to the earth. #funfact

We "strategically" parked to make it on time for the second tour at Cliff Palace with Ranger Kevin. 

In 90 degree temps, he guided us along the ridge-side and within 20 minutes we were standing face to face with this amazing city in the alcove. A city they believe that was home to 120 Ancestry Pueblo people. It was discovered by two Cowboys, in search of lost cattle in the 1880's. Could you imagine coming upon this one wintery day? As Ranger Kevin puts it, "I'm sure they said 'holy shit!'"

We had a blast on our exploration through Mesa Verde. And even stopped by the Ranger Quarters to use the public showers- a real bath 5 days into our trip, we needed it. 

However as soon as we walked in, we found this sign hanging on the door. Let's just say I am glad we had our flip flops with us. What we want to know is, who was the jackass who shat in the shower and forced employees to have to make this sign? Yuck! Fortunately, they were super clean and free. 

After showers, we crashed at camp. We took naps, read a little, played UNO, made cherry Moscow mules and watched the second season of Greys Anatomy. We forgot how much we loved George!

Off to Grand Mesa for the second half of our Camp Bores vacation. More to come.

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