day 149
mesa verde national park

"My own smell is starting to offend me." -k.
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Rocky Roads:
Nickname: Centennial State
Land Area: 103,729 sq. mi.
Population: 3,930,700
Highest Pt.: Mount Elbert
Height: 14,433 ft.
Capital: Denver
Largest City: Denver

Colour: White

Claim to Fame: The only other perfectly rectangular state besides Wyoming.

Paved with Good Intentions
Our Park Ranger:
Ranger Andy took us on an excellent adventure to the Spruce Tree cliff dwellings. Through his own enthusiasm for the subject, he managed to convey a sense of wonder and respect for the history of the area and its past residents. Truly an excellent guide.
Other Important Cliffs:
1. Cliff King (My dad's next door neighbour, and fan of Walmart)
2. Cliff LeBlanc (The Microwave Fudge recipe on Grand Manan)
3. Cliff Clayvin (Friend of Norm Peterson)
4. Cliff Huxtable (Of The Cosby Show)
5. Cliffhanger (Sylvester Stallone's crowning glory)
6. Clifford (A large red dog)
7. Heathcliff (Of Wuthering Heights, also, a cat)

Only 6 More States To Go!

Carved in Stone
Jan 22 - There is something almost mystical about seeing the remains of a civilization. Just by wandering through the remains, you can tell that the people who once lived there were very much like yourself. You're the same in many respects, but now their home has become a museum.

Picture a thousand years from now a different civilization wandering through your house, reading from wooden plaques, following a dotted line that is sure to cause as little damage to your basement's shag carpeting and fake wood panelling as possible. The tourists can see where your mom measured your height on a doorjamb when you were three years old, but it's behind glass since too many people were carving their initials into it.

There's just something really weird about that. Here you are trampling all over your kitchen with muddy boots without a care in the world, and years from now, people would be arrested for that. Or at least booted out of the park grounds without a refund.

"If we can all stop here for a moment," states the Ranger, motioning everyone to gather around, "This is what the 20th century Americans called 'Elvis on Velvet'. This same image appears frequently throughout their culture, along with many references to him being their 'King'. It was not unlikely for the people of this time to make pilgrimages to his kingdom, known as the Land of Grace. King Elvis was said to have lived for many years, and some say he is still alive today. There's a question?"

"Yes, um, why would they worship a man with such large sideburns?" asks a small child of the future, eating a space-cone.

"That will always be a mystery. And you're going to have to throw that away, there's no eating in here. Now let's move on to learn about their Goddess of Fertility, Pamela Anderson..."

You never know how civilizations will view one another. It's this point of view that always makes me reflective visiting other's ancient homes. This feeling is escalated around the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings.

Around the year 1200, the people of the Mesa Verde area suddenly began to build their homes into the cliff alcoves. Nearly a hundred years later, after building dozens of thriving communities throughout the cliffs, they left as quickly as they had arrived. Neither the reason for their arrival nor their departure is known. Some people think that they were operating solely for religious purposes, while others contend that they were trying to build a defensive structure within the cliffs and when that failed, they moved on. And still others think they left because of the shag carpeting.

Could they even begin to imagine that years after they mysteriously abandoned their cliff dwellings - never to return - that others would be in awe of their lives and accomplishments? One theory of their disappearance is that they intended for another generation to return to use the cliff dwellings, so in a way they didn't fully abandon what they had made.

The next time you're walking through your neighbourhood, try to look at it as future civilizations will. What will they find unusual, what will they misinterpret? It gives a whole new meaning to teen idols.

fragile rock...








more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Mesa Verde National Park

Next Stop: Four Corners!

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Today's Weather:

Daily Stats

National Parks Pass...
Savings Today:$10.00
Savings To Date:$99.00
We're burning up that Parks Pass now! Wow!

Sleeping Quarters
Budget 6 Aneth Lodge

Room 19. Our choices were an $18 campground or a $30 hotel. It's not that cold out, but the hotel seemed the better value. Besides, everybody needs a shower sometimes.
Cost: $30.50

Moab Diner
Moab, UT
K's Order:Hans Flat Pancakes
A's Order:Mountain Biker's Special
On the Road
Mesa Verde N.P.
K's Order:Chocolate Raspberry
A's Order:Aero Bar
Cortez, CO
Both:Crab & Avacado Salad

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeannnnns!