Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cliff Dwellers

I finally made it to Mesa Verde National Park in southern Colorado, it was worth the wait.
We've all heard of the cliff dwellers & seen pictures of the large buildings built under the overhang high up off the canyon floor. What's the most surprising to me was the time line of these famous dwellings.


Mesa Verde cliff dwelling

The people lived on the top of the plateau for hundreds of years. First in pit houses & they worked up to full fledged pueblos.
Then about the year 1200 they moved off the plateaus and built the cliff dwellings we are all familiar with.


Mesa Verde 


Mesa Verde with the upstairs visible








One hundred years later they abandoned the cliff dwellings & left.  It's not just here in Mesa Verde either... All the work & 100 years later they left.

For what it's worth the Little Ice Age  is generally given a start date of 1250-1300.


At the Navajo National Monument  they only occupied the place for 35 years.


Navajo National Monument


These places are worth the time it takes to see them. I was also really impressed with Chato Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.


Chato


Chato


Chato


Chato


Chato


Chato








There is a campground in Mesa Verde NP, nice place, there is also dispersed free camping just outside the gate.
Inside the park the showers, the RV dump & water fill are free. The cliff dwellings are a bit of a drive into the park.

Durango to the east was a really nice little town as is Cortez to the west.



Monday, August 7, 2017

Corps of Engineers & the traveler

There is a lot to be said for the COE campgrounds  !

We've looked for & stopped twice at Corps of Engineers campgrounds & paid for a camp site.
They have been close to water, had room on a Friday and with the America The Beautiful Pass (62 & older it never expires, the price goes up on the 28th of Aug) you get half off the camp fee & free entrance to the day use areas. We did get electric sites so we could use the air conditioner. Clean bathrooms & drinking water are a plus.

COE camp in the Oklahoma/Texas area

Other times we have parked at free COE places like on the Columbia river.

COE dispersed camping on the Columbia river
in Oregon, the John Day dam


I realize this is a little thing but I have been impressed with the COE places we've stopped at.... it's nice to be impressed by something the government does today.

Sure wish I had a boat!