Hello everyone! I'm going to blog some more about my trip to the Four Corners. After we visited Hovenweep, my family enjoyed lunch in a town called Cortez. I had a green chile cheeseburger- yum! Then it was time to visit a park that my family has loved for a long time- Mesa Verde National Park! My family has been coming to Mesa Verde for a long time. My mama visited for the first time when she was six! This would be my first trip to the park. The first thing we did was stop at the Visitor Center to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet and stamp my NPS Passport. Then it was time to drive to see the cliff dwellings that make the park famous. It takes about an hour in the car from the park gate to get up to the cliff dwellings. I was surprised at how nervous I was driving in the mountains! I kept asking my grandma to slow down. Yikes! You can kind of see in this picture how high up we were.
The first time we stopped to get out and look at some cliff dwellings, I was so ready to be out of the car! Since it was later in the day, we decided to drive the Mesa Top Loop road to view some cliff dwellings. Then we would come back to the park the next day to see Cliff Palace, the largest group of cliff dwellings. I believe that the cliff dwellings visible in this photo are called Square Tower House. They're so beautiful! It was so cool to think that my grandma and mama's ancestors built these beautiful structures.
Here I am on the trail back to the car. There were lots of families visiting the park, all speaking different languages! I have visited some World Heritage Sites in Ukraine, but I would love to see National Parks in other countries as well.
Finally we reached the overlook where we could see Cliff Palace. It was amazing! Do you see the buildings built under the overhang just to the left of my head in the photo? Wow! The people of Cliff Palace only lived to be about 25-34 years old, and around half of the children died before they turned five years old. Can you imagine living in such an environment?
After we drove the loop, we went back down to the park's entrance to purchase tickets for a tour of Cliff Palace the next day. I was really excited! Then we drove to the town where we were staying, Durango, and explored a bit. We went to a really cool candy shop called Fuzziwig's, where I got some jelly beans. We also went to a chocolate shop where we bought a caramel apple. Yum!
I love visiting National Park Service sites, but what really makes my adventures special is sharing them with family and friends. Do you have anywhere special you like to visit with your loved ones?