Denver or Bust Road Trip – Day 5
And we made it into Colorado! We got up early to leave Moab, getting to Mesa Verde National Park less than an hour after the gates opened. We booked tours for Balcony House and Cliff Palace later that afternoon and did a bit of wandering around the park in the mean time.
Our full days and long drives were starting to take a toll, so we took it a bit easy today, doing a few short walks. We stopped at Park Point Overlook, Geologic Overlook, then stopped at the Far View Terrace for lunch. After lunch we visited Cedar Tree Tower with a walk around the Farming Terrace Trail.
The Farming Terrace Trail is in area the natives developed terraced farming for water conservation… it looks very different now, but you can still see some of the shaping of the land they originally did.
Then we made our way to the cliff dwellings for our tours. They were both great, though I think we enjoyed Balcony House more, simply because by the time we were at Cliff Palace, we were in full sun… there were some nice breezes, but the sun was still very hot. So quick recommendation if you’re there during hotter months, try to do Cliff Palace (which faces west) in the morning and Balcony House (which faces east) in the afternoon.
Climbing the ladders and stone paths that the natives would have used was neat, but I have no idea how they did it day in and day out. The ones we followed I’m sure were beefed up for so much use, and with some modern safety measures. There’s some paths they took that were just small indents in the rock faces.
I’m not sure if I just didn’t record a closing clip, or what happened, so the video ends with me just doing some looking around Cliff Palace before cutting to the slide show. We had planned to try and get to Denver early the next morning by just driving until I needed to stop and sleep, finding a place on the road to do so. The idea was to meet up with folks at the conference, but all the heat and stuff had really wiped us out, so we ended up stopping in Durango for dinner, got caught in a bit of a rain storm, and decided to just find a hotel for the night.
The next video in the series will be after the conference in Denver, on the road trip home.