Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mesa Verde National Park

A few weeks ago, we visited beautiful Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  We LOVED this National Park.  Pictures do not do it justice- everyone visit here at least once in their lifetime.  The park is home to many, many ancient Anasazi ruins.  They are no longer called Anasazi though, just an FYI- now they are called Ancestral Pueblo People, and it is believed that some tribes that still exist today (Ute Tribe and some others) are descendants of these ancient people.  (I like the term Anasazi though!  I still use it; it's easier and more fun to say than Ancestral Pueblo People.)  
The two photos above are of the cliff dwelling called Cliff Palace.  We had to kind of hike down into this, and then use 3 or 4 8-foot ladders to get out.  If you have an infant or young toddler, you must wear them in a baby backpack, or they can't come down to these awesome places.  Luckily we don't go anywhere without our two carriers; Boba and Onya brands.  Here we are on one of the 8-foot ladders using the trusty Boba.  He loved the ride!
Babywearing in Mesa Verde National Park!
Although we were already pretty tired by early afternoon, we decided to hike down into another cliff dwelling, the Spruce Tree house (pic above).  This one is a free self-guided thing where the others are guided and you have to pay, also.  We loved this one, as well.  The kids and my husband climbed down into an ancient underground chamber, or Kiva (the round rooms shown in the first pics are kivas, missing their roofs. They were used for religious ceremonies and also living when it got cold outside.)
In the nearby town of Cortez, CO, we attended a free Native American Traditional dance.  It was very beautiful and interesting to watch.  The family that was dancing was from the Ute Native American Tribe.  
After the dance, there was a special talk by one of the last living Navajo Code Talkers.  Taken from the official website of the NCT, here is some info.  "Known as Navajo Code Talkers, they were young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII. At a time when America's best cryptographers were falling short, these modest sheepherders and farmers were able to fashion the most ingenious and successful code in military history."  My daughter and I enjoyed his talk and then got some photos with him.  (That's my sleeve in the pic-scandal!)
On our way home from Mesa Verde, we drove to a place called Newspaper Rock.  It's a large rock face with a huge number of ancient Native American Petroglyphs.  It was so awesome to see.  (Click on any pic to enlarge.)
 **This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **


LadyJayPee said...

Going here is on my Bucket List, so I'll be referring to your post one day when I'm packing. :)

What a Dish! said...

Great!! I hope you do get to visit; it is so cool there!