200 RV miles today, 7,147.4 total
We spent the day at Mesa Verde National Park. We took the Cliff Palace & Balcony guided tours & the Spruce Tree House hike. The park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world. The Spanish term Mesa Verde translates into English as “green table.” Scattered nomads began roaming about the Southwest about 7,000 B.C. Projectile points dating 5,000 years have been found on Mesa Verde.The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde between 600 to 1300. In the late 1190s, they began to build the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous. We went down into a Kiva, the spiritual place of these ruinsthat celebrates Father Sky & Mother Earth. We headed south traversing an intense sandstorm & witnessing a small tornado enroute to visit Ana & Jonathan Newman & Ana’s brother, Tim. Ana prepared a feast & we stayed at the mission compound RV campground.
“Far above me, a thousand feet or so, set in a great cavern in the face of the cliff, I saw a little city of stone asleep. It was as still as sculpture — and sometimes like that. It all hung together, seemed to have a kind of composition: pale little houses of stone nestling close to one another, perched on top of each other, with flat roofs, narrow windows, straight walls, and in the middle of the group, a round tower. . . . I had come upon the city of some extinct civilization, hidden away in this inaccessible mesa for centuries, preserved in the dry air and almost perpetual sunlight like a fly an amber, guarded by the cliffs and the river and the desert.—From “The Professor’s House,’’ by Willa Cather on the Anasazi civilization at Mesa Verde.
“Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.”— Richard Bach, ‘Nothing by Chance,’ 1963