Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Adios Mountains and headed for mid-America

Spruce Tree House
2 miles hike - down/up
Drive from Montrose to Cortez

9/24 - 9/25/12

Drove from Montrose, CO to Cortez, Co so we could go the Mesa Verde National Park.  The drive was spectacular - so beautiful that it made me want to cry.  Seldom have I seen nature that has overwhelmed me like the Colorado mountains in Fall.  If you've never been to Colorado we can highly recommend it.

We stopped at the Anasazi Heritage Center.  They have wonderful artifacts from the area and a lot of hands-on exhibits.  I ground some corn on a "metate" (flat stone with rounded grinder held in the hand) and it was super hard work.  I was surprised that the corn was so hard and glad I don't have to do that to make corn muffins.  I also took a one mile hike to the top of a mountain to see an ancient kiva.

We tried a Trip Advisor high rated Mexican restaurant.  There were 3 that were pretty equal in the review ratings.  We went to El Burro Pancho.  It was great.  John had a tamale that he rated as in his top 3 EVER, and I had a great chimichanga, great beans, odd rice, but the salsa was really something - a medium hot with chipotle that was just so smokey and good.

I have wanted to go to Mesa Verde for many years and it was on my Bucket List.  One of the above pictures is of the Spruce Tree cliff dwellings.  Being brilliant, I left my camera in our hotel room, so the picture is a "borrowed" one.   I walked down to this dwelling - a moderate hike and it really was tough for me.  This would have been way too much for John so he toured the Museum at the top. 

The park tells the story of a civilization's growth over 700 years.  This is a National Geographic one of fifty "must-see" places and it is very special.  The people had been referred to as Anasazi, but today are referred to as Ancestral Puebloans.

We spent over 6 hours in the park.  There is a nice drive through the park with probably 25 stops along the way to view cliff dwellings, kivas, visitor center, museum, trails, vistas.  We were in and out of the car a lot and did lots of walking.  So glad that John brought our binoculars which helped so much. 

We also had a Navajo Taco - which is Indian Fry bread with taco type fixings on it.  I think they sell these at the fair, but we'd never had one before.  Very tasty and we've found something new that we like.

I've only had one guess in our contest (see prior blog).  I'm going to set a deadline of October 15th to submit your guesses.  Play along, see if you are the lucky one.

We continue on to Las Vegas, New Mexico tomorrow to stay two nights with our friends that we met last November in Cancun.  Then..................................

I will do my best to be sure and have my camera with me at all times.  Lesson hopefully learned.