Mesa Verde and the Ancestral Puebloans

One really important and quite interesting thing about this trip has been learning all about the Native American tribes in each area. The Blackfeet in Montana (long held Sands family history says there is a line in our family but we haven’t been able to trace it). The Sioux in South Dakota. And the Ute, Navajo, Hopi, and most recently the Ancestral Puebloans in the Colorado Plateau area.

Anyway, just when you thought we were done with Colorado, we dipped back in for a quick minute. Maps just sometimes be that way.

So, today we pre-gamed at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. What I really loved about this place was that one of the films was geared towards young people and educating them on how to respect these sacred lands. Sometimes we’re pretty sure they are talking directly to Harry. Stay on the path, Don’t pick up rocks, etc. I also loved the sentiment that although everyone wants to take a piece with them when they leave, if we all do it, there will be nothing left.

After this stop we headed into yet ANOTHER National Park: Mesa Verde! Are you guys bored with this yet?!?

We did a few scenic overlooks but the big dance was the ranger-led tour of Cliff Palace! A must-do if you are in the area but note: you cannot book a tour online. You can only get tickets up to two days in advance and you can only buy them onsite. Seems an odd way to do things, especially since the tickets are only $5 but thankfully the line moved pretty quick and we only waited 20 minutes. I highly recommend stopping in the day before if you are in the area early or getting there in the morning. The first tour we could book was 4 hours later in the afternoon.

Anyway, this place is UNBELIEVABLE. You just stand there in awe of what was created so many centuries ago.

We were even able to stick our head into one of the rooms to view some art that has withstood time.

After watching so many national park videos about native people, I think it was great for the kids to finally see something more tangible. And a nice woman insisted on taking our picture here.

Okay, Colorado. We’re really done now. Love you. Miss you. Mean it.

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