This has been quite the day! Expect the unexpected is our motto so even though Joe knew about this site, I did not and therefore experienced the unexpected in extreme fashion.  So, we spent the day at Mesa Verde National Park just 10 miles away from Cortez, Colorado.  Once you enter the park you go to the visitor center. You can sign up there to take a 4 hour bus tour or you can drive yourself and buy tickets for just the sites you want to see. Since we tried a bus yesterday and didn’t love it we bought tickets for the guided tours of Cliff Palace and Balcony House. Those two names should clue you in that we were visiting the largest cliff dwelling in North America. It was the home of the ancestral Pueblo people. They lived on top the Mesa and for some unknown reason moved to cliff dwellings. These dwellings are at 7,000 feet elevation so you can be doubly impressed that we climbed trails and ladders to access these sites. 

Cliff Palace

From the viewing stationJoe climbing ladder 1.

Far away and close up view of structures.
Balcony House

First ladder to Balcony House! Made my heart stop and knees shake. This is where the ranger gives you the option to chicken out and go back. We forged on, of course.

Looking down into a Kiva.

The part of Balcony House with a railing…notice the smiles.

We had to crawl in a tunnel to get out to the ladder that really leads us out!

Joe and I crawled up the ladder side by side so no photo of us. That’s probably a good thing.

There is a lot more to see and we made many stops as we drove around the park but you will have to look it up on the Internet or the library because I am out of gas tonight!