Making a bucket list seems to be a popular thing these days. I have my own like most people do, and as a couple, my hubby and I share quite a few of those items. One of them was experiencing Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado. I’d been there as a child, memories had faded into sketchy images, but Ron had never seen it. We had to go. Before any changes happen in our lives.
Our life journey seems to be headed for Texas in the near future. Living too far away from our only child and her family is not working for us anymore. With two grandkids now, we are just too far away. Change is hard though. And the older one gets, the harder those changes are emotionally, practically and logistically. But to attain what one desires the most, change is usually inevitable.
So back in June of this year, we decided to just pack up the camper and head down to the southwestern reaches of our state while we were still here. We had a few days, it probably wouldn't be enough, but let’s just do it. We like to be rather spontaneous with our adventures.
Being spontaneous is great, but when your vehicle is feeling older than I do, pulling a camper over mountain passes takes a longggggggg time. But hey, it’s Colorado. It’s mountains. It’s God’s creation surrounding you. As the old poem of my childhood days says, “Take time to see”. I did. Right out my side window for many miles.
We finally made it about eight hours later. Found the campground, settled in and enjoyed relaxing for the rest of the evening.
The next morning, packed up a picnic lunch, snacks for the day and we were off on an adventure of discovery. Of a life led by people long ago who took up residence in the dangerous cliffs of the area.
Now, one stops to think, why did they want to live there? What possessed them to climb the steep terrain and start assembling rocks, making bricks out of mud using precious water to form and stack them into walls to create rooms? To take your family into parts unknown and live what had to be a very challenging lifestyle involving incredibly hard work.
But that’s what life is most of the time. It’s work. We all face challenges from the winds of change almost on a daily basis.
Growing up, the historical name I learned for the inhabitants of the dwellings has now somehow become politically incorrect. I’m going to be on a soapbox for a moment, so bear with me. I learned back in the day when my family visited this site that the Anasazi Indians took up residence in the cliffs. Now it is apparently an insult to this civilization to refer to them by that name.
According to dictionary.com, the name Anasazi derives from the Navajo as “ancestors of enemies”.
|A window into the past!|
|Yep. It was as unnerving as it looks.|
|The residents would pull these weeds out|
to access the water. No sense sharing
Water is an essential source for survival and they had unique ways to collect that. Rock down there is porous sandstone, so when it rained or snow would melt, it would just percolate down through the sandstone, hit a layer of shale and emerge through the cracks at the back of their alcove on bedrock. They carved little channels leading to larger catch basins to collect the spring water enabling them to ladle it out for drinking and cooking. Clever. Survival.
|Look around for surprises.|
|One of about 125 wild horses in the park|