I first saw photos of Mesa Verde in a social studies text book. I was a young second grade teacher, and the thought of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde fascinated me. I didn’t just want to teach about it, I wanted to go there! When Ed said that Mesa Verde wasn’t that far from the Grand Canyon, I told him to make it part of our trip. Ed had never really heard of Mesa Verde before, but he humored me and included it in our plans.
The morning of our Mesa Verde tours, we approached Cliff Palace in complete awe. Over a century ago, two cowboys had been searching for lost cattle in the canyon, and what they stumbled upon was truly amazing. The rest of the world agreed with them!
As I reached in my purse to take out my camera, I had a sudden realization. I had left my battery charging in the hotel room! The night before I made sure I had enough memory on my memory card and wanted to make sure my camera didn’t run out of power, and then I totally forgot the !@#$% battery! This was a place I’d been dreaming about visiting and now that I was finally there, I couldn’t take pictures! I was so mad at myself.
My darling 8 year old daughter came to the rescue. Her camera was in the car, so I was able to take pictures after all.
Mesa Verde is such a great place to explore. You can take self-guided tours or go on ranger-led tours, which I highly recommend! We squeezed through tunnels and climbed up ladders, and explored the ruins left over a thousand years ago by an amazing group of ancient people.
What did you do during your summer? Gretchen and I want to know! Tell us in the comments, or link up your summer post below!
On Monday, I’ll have a new prompt for next week. Be sure to check in and see what we’ll be writing about!
Our summer vacation was 10 days long, and we went to so many places and did so many things, it’s taking me a long time to write all about it! We started at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then drove around the canyon to the North Rim.
One of the first things we noticed when arriving at the North Rim was that it was quieter than the South Rim. There were quite a few tourists there, but it definitely wasn’t as crowded. One of the first things we did was pick up the Junior Ranger books for the girls. They wanted to go find a bug to watch for a minute, which was one of their Ranger activities. We went out by the lodge and listened to the sounds in the Ponderosa forest at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Lily started following a grasshopper, and it made such a loud whirring sound compared to Midwestern grasshoppers. Emmy tried to observe a fly, but it was not cooperative at all! We wandered down the point out into the canyon; it was a narrow strip of blacktop that extended past the lodge while the edge dropped off into nothing. Scary but gorgeous.
The lodge has two large porches with a lot of chairs and benches, and a huge fireplace. It’s cool up on the North Rim since it has an elevation of about 8000 feet. We spent a lot of time at the lodge sitting out on the porch, looking at the canyon, listening to a ranger program, and gazing at the stars.
Did you know that it never gets dark in Chicago? It looks dark outside when the sun sets, but there’s always a glow in the sky that makes it difficult to see the stars. Grand Canyon National Park, on the other hand, is one of the best places to go star gazing. We let the girls stay up to look at the stars. Not only did we spot the Big Dipper, but we could also see the Milky Way and how we teeter on the edge of an unfathomable expanse of stars swirling away from us. It was such an amazing sight to see.
I haven’t even told you about my favorite place yet. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. Don’t forget to write about your summer vacation, and link up for the Spin Cycle! Your link will show up both here and on Gretchen’s blog, Second Blooming!