Today we toured Mesa Verde National Park, the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, which features numerous ruins of homes and villages built by the Ancient Pueblo peoples. There are over 4000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people at the site. Mesa Verde is best known for cliff dwellings, which are structures built within caves and under outcroppings in cliffs.
Susan and I walked the Soda Canyon Trail while the others toured one of the cliff dwellings, the Balcony House. Then we all toured the Spruce Tree House and the Cliff Palace where a tour guide provided history of the dwellings and led us through the rocky paths, the narrow sandstone canyon walls and up several ladders including a 10-foot ladder leading to the exit. Not for the faint of heart!
This evening we had our farewell party because JoBeth and Catherine will be splitting off from the group, heading south to New Mexico and Arizona and then back home to Florida. Sharon, Marsha, Susan and I will go on to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, then to Colorado Springs and on back through Kansas and home. We celebrated JoBeth's upcoming birthday with a cake. It's been a great Grand Circle Tour.
Weather: High, 94, Low,46
Campground: Sundance RV Park, Cortez, Colorado