"Ray’s Mesa Verde" Mesa Verde National Park by ray_d
Mesa Verde National Park Travel Guide: 229 reviews and 539 photos
Returning North and back into Colorado, stupendous granite mountains stood as a marker to the right of my vision.
The long flat hi-way divided the landscape in reds and gold until it was time to turn west.
Townships interrupted the rapid progress to Mesa Verde.
Each no more than a few hundred houses, hordes of SUVs and trucks.
Stopping intermittently for fuel for both man and machinery, it was a relaxed drive towards the distant table-top mountains that dotted the distance.
Rain started with large, lazy droplets splattering the dust on the windscreen into mud.
It fell in small, heavy batches of sweet water.
Within minutes clouds covered the sky and the wind turned the rain squally.
The air became cold and the wipers were hard-pressed to fend off the onslaught.
The long, windy climb took an hour but brilliant flashes of lightning and even more impressive views from hair-pin bends made a never-ending spectacle of nature’s magnificence that lent an air of spirituality to a drive otherwise beautiful enough when bone dry.
“Mesa Verde” means Green Table-top Mountain.
Something that Americans are good at is the way they create a National Parks.
They have a talent in creating modern amenities within nature that make the least effect on the landscape.
Pleasantly, a museaum and information mixed in with a shop selling maps and tours tends to stand at a spot on the road before your Park experience.
Information is extensive but also simple and, wherever technicalities were needed, they are reduced to a minimum with graphics and story boards.
Whatever interest a person has, whether sketchy or focused, their needs are catered for.
Being late in the day a quick drive along the top of the Mesa was the only thing possible.
Although the views were enjoyable they did not fortell the next day's wonder.
Morning saw the red rays of the dawn pour down valleys and gorges bathing the stony outcrops with copper colored light.
The air is crisp and cool as a family of eagles hunts the craggy rocks with surgical accuracy.
The first guided tour was purchaced.
Never expensive but always informative, it was planned early enough to enjoy the cool morning.
It was the tour which take you down under the lip of the worn-away cliffs.
The one that slowly exposes the collection of dwellings in small measures. Making the spectacular ever more magnificent.
The lady Park-Ranger was so good, calm and disciplined that each time I felt in awe, her monologue distracted my thoughts and I wished I was alone with the experience.
Perhaps I am impressed too easily.
However, I could think of no better guide on the day.
The place does not hold any mysteries; in fact it is one of many places that have such structures but it holds charm by the bucketful.
Yet the air of calmness and timeless nature surrounding the place made it part of a landscape that made one understand what being a minute part of nature means.
Dust to dust has good feel here.
If I were to rest peacefully in death I would feel good here.
The next tour, also guided by the lovely young lady was as spectacular.
Long ladders and precarious ledges were well created to take the work out of precipitous climbs to dwellings plastered among water hewn undercuts I the cliffs.
Again, tours created for tourists and well designed to impress the holidaymaker as well as the one who needed to be there.
I needed to be there.
I was not disappointed.
Although the Tourist centre has a lovely museum, many of the displays were of things not of the area but of a nation, now part of a bigger one which, on face value, seems to be doing good work in preserving their heritage.
Although by European standards, the age and culture is not impressive, once taken in its own context and its achievements it is one of successful civilizations inhabiting a continent isolated but for their race and distant cousins from both sides of the Americas.
Necessity is indeed mother of invention and here humans had invented societies of complexity when Europe was dying from sickness and wars.
- Pros:Meticously maintained
- Cons:There aren't any.
- In a nutshell:A little culture and a lot of nature each outdoing the other.
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