All posts tagged: Mesa Verde

Wrapping up the Western Trip

After the first day back at work, I have pulled together a few final observations from the road and even more photographs from our trip out west. #1 – Acoma Sky City (see Claire’s photo at left) is one of the most moving and beautiful places in America.  If you ever travel near Albuquerque, take the time to travel about an hour west and see this extraordinary place. #2 – Follow your spouse’s good instincts when you travel.  When we pulled into Gallup, NM after spending the day at Acoma, Candice really wanted to attend the Native American Tribal Ceremonial gathering that was taking place, to see the dancing and cultural displays.  I was tired and didn’t follow through, and so we ended up resting in the hotel.  Two days later when reading a regional paper we learned 1) that the event itself was pretty spectacular and 2) that PAUL McCARTNEY was in Gallup that evening and had attended the event to watch the dancing.  Apparently he was traveling on Historic Route 66 and decided …

Great Little Towns; Wonderful Drives

After our visit at Mesa Verde, we took off on the short drive to Durango on Saturday morning.  But along the way, we passed the historic little town of Mancos and saw a sign for the Absolute Bakery & Cafe.  Since we love small Main Street communities AND we were ready for breakfast, we pulled over.  Mancos has a small historic downtown, and the Bakery & Cafe was in one of those older buildings.  We found a wonderful menu, a soundtrack of late sixties and early seventies songs on the stereo, and an eclectic mix of patrons.  More than once, one of us said, “This place would fit right in at Takoma Park” (the DC/Maryland neighborhood which has a great counter-culture 4th of July parade and is the area’s only nuclear-free zone – as approved by their City Council).  It has been a while since I’ve heard so much Steppenwolf, Neil Young, and Jefferson Airplane that early in the morning! After breakfast, we visited a nice local arts cooperative and then took off for Durango, …

Home of the Cliff Dwellers

We had been told by friends and colleagues that Mesa Verde was a special place.  But until we saw the stone communities, hiked the canyons, climbed among the cliff dwellings, heard the rangers tell the stories of the Ancestral Puebloans, and took in the majesty of the landscape, it was hard to comprehend its wonder. We spent two days at Mesa Verde National Park and the lack of internet connectivity…not to mention the lack of televisions in the hotel rooms…helped us focus on the people and their stories.   It made for a very special visit for our family. On the first day, we arrived in time to visit the Spruce Tree House site (see photo above), which is easily accessible and a good introduction to what we’d see the next day.   With our appetites for the site visit whetted, we satisfied our appetites for food with a great meal at the Far View Lodge’s restaurant. The second day was full of hiking and climbing.  All four of us began the day by visiting the Long …

A Few Observations From the Road

Observation #1:  Native Americans didn’t locate near cell towers.  That’s a good thing.  But it means that we’ve had almost zero connectivity from Canyon de Chelly and Mesa Verde.  Expect the next full post on Saturday when we’re in Durango. Observation #2:  Is ANYONE left in Europe?  I can’t believe it because they are ALL touring the American Southwest.  Our experience has been that there are 3/4’s international visitors to 1/4 domestic visitors everywhere we go.  We went on a great tour of Canyon de Chelly with a big group from Italy.  Out of 24 people, only 8 of us were from the US.  It has been great to listen to all the languages but what it says about the exchange rate…and my upcoming trip to Slovakia…isn’t so wonderful. Observation #3:  Once you get the post from Durango, you can learn how I made it through an 18″ tunnel I  climbed yesterday afternoon at Mesa Verde with Andrew and Claire at the Balcony House ruins.  I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about that – …