We spent several days in the area of Cortez & Durango, Colorado, visiting Mesa Verde National Monument, playing Dominion with our friends Roger & Cindi, and petting their dogs Pepper and Cali.
Mesa Verde is an amazing place with hundreds of ruins left by the Ancestral Puebloan people over about an 800 year period — first living on the top of this high mesa, then building cliff dwellings that remain some of the best preserved in North America.
We took a guided tour of Balcony House. This was somewhat daunting, as entry is achieved by climbing a 30 foot tall ladder!
But the close up experience with this cliff dwelling was worth it!
And the view from the cliff dwelling was breathtaking!
As we drove along the winding roadway, we stopped to view several other cliff dwellings…
The Mesa Top ruins were not as well preserved as the cliff dwellings, but still were quite interesting:
The view of Cliff Palace from across the canyon was amazing!
The New Fire House was a split-level cliff dwelling with hand and toe holds carved into the rock to allow “easy” access between the two!
Of course the views were spectacular, too.
We even saw a Western Scrub Jay!