Sunday, July 26, 2009
After many hours of driving out of Arches National Park, the climate changed drastically. We drove well into Colorado, and somehow even found ourself in a fairly rain-rich area with temps in the low 70's. Quite a shift from the dry 104 of the previous day.
What was intended to be a transition RV park on the way to Great Sand Dunes National Park turned out to be a real joy. The owner's kids apparently found out that there were twin 9 year old boys and a 3 year old kid, so Landshark's arrival was greeted by its largest welcoming committee yet--at least in terms of numbers, not size. The boys enjoyed a picnic snack discussing the best Shirley Temples they have ever had (I assume the drink) as well as showing off their ability to create belches. Truly a match made in heaven.
After looking at the multitude of travel books, I realized that we drove right by the cliffside dwellings of Mesa Verde, so the next day we were back on the road to backtrack to that most excellent park. The Native Americans (total aside here, does one capitalize both? Or just Americans? Or neither? I'm baffled, but will go the safe route) built these abodes between 900 and 1200 AD. And as the video told us, more people were settled in the region at that time than are currently settled in the region. The shots you see here are of the Spruce Tree House Dwellings named by the ranchers who "found" the site and named it after the trees nearby. Despite such an awesome finding, they were poor botanists as there are no spruces for many miles. But the name stuck.