Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mesa Verde Pt. II

After the tour, we had lunch at the park restaurant and then walked down to the Spruce Tree House. This is the third-largest dwelling in the park (Cliff Palace and Balcony House are first and second), and honestly, the hike down was much more strenuous than the Cliff Palace. I found ladders much easier than the incline. Like Cliff Palace, Spruce Tree House was occupied from about 1200 to 1276. It had 114 rooms, eight kivas and housed about 100 people.

Spruce Tree House

M at Spruce Tree House

Some of the park's archaeologists were mapping the walls there, examining differences in construction techniques over time. There is a re-constructed kiva there that you can actually climb down into (it was by the kiva that I spotted the Hebrew-speaking couple).

Inside the Kiva

We finished by taking the Mesa Top loop. The road offers views of dozens of sites, including Cliff Palace. From the Sun Point overlook, I was able to spot at least seven different pueblos, including Cliff Palace, as well as the Sun Temple on top of the Mesa.

Oak House from the Mesa Top Loop

We are spending the evening in Bluff, Utah, population 320. It was established in 1880 by Mormons looking to colonize the Four Corners area and establish relations with the Navajo and Ute Indians. In town, the remnants of their original village can still be seen. There are several small independent motels here, though I am not sure why, and ours even has wireless internet access. From here, we will head to Monument Valley.

Historic Bluff, Utah

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