Mesa Verde National Park
25 July 2012
The steak at Black Bart's was pretty good. Plus, they have singing waiters to boot. All the waiters get up and sing with the piano player, our waitress excused herself after taking drink order and said she had to sing. She was pretty good as we're all of them.
I noticed one of my tires had a bubble on the sidewall so started calling tire shops in the morning and found one with my size tires in stock. So an hour later and 300 bucks poorer we were on our way to Mesa Verde. Arrived there in the late afternoon and checked in. The lady said that we were in the Hopi loop and to find one we liked and take it. Wow, I thought it would be packed but we had our pick as there were only a few other RV's in the camp.
We had an 8am tour set up so we got up early and drove to the pick up point and got coffee before boarding the bus for the 700 year tour. Had a great tour guide who knew his stuff and we stopped at several sites that hat the early pit houses. Then we got to the main attraction, a ranger led tour of Cliff Palace that was built in a huge alcove in the cliff. The Ancestral Puebloens, as they are now called as the former name of Anasazi was not correct. Anasazi is a Navajo term meaning " not our ancestors".
We hiked down about 200 steps to the cliff dwellings and heard the remarkable story of hoe they lived for several hundred years. They farmed they Mesa above them be gaining access via hand and toe holds chipped out of the rocks. They had no metal tools, only stone and bone. Meanwhile the women were weaving pots and later making pottery to bring water from lower area that they would find seeping out of the rock. They would carry the water on their head while packing a child on their back as well as possibly being pregnant. It's no wonder the average age at death was 35.
After the 4 hour we went to the museum and hiked down to Spruce Tree house for a self guided tour of another cliff dwelling. Some of the dwellings may have had as many as 100 inhabitants. There are more than 600 such places that they have found in the park and over several thousand pit houses on the mesa.
It was a long day so back to showers and dinner and listening to the rain on the roof while reading. Rain in an Airstream sounds like you are in a tin can. Onward tomorrow morning.