Sunday, 24 August 2008

Day Eighteen - Tuesday, 8 July - Part III

Now, what makes Mesa Verde so cool? It was the home of some ancient people called the Anasazi's, ancestors of the modern Puebloes.

They were cliff dwellers, though no one knows exactly why or what happened to them. It is believed that they farmed the land on top of the mesas, but didn't find it safe to live there. Very curious. They obviously didn't mind heights, or maybe there was just a natural selection process involved, huh?

I think Cliff Palace and Balcony House are great names for a home. I believe this is Balcony House here. Click on the link above for a little education and views of the awesome Cliff Palace.

(I don't see a tail, but I believe this is a rock squirrel, the main carrier of plague -- yes, black death -- in the Four Corners area. We used to catch, anesthetize and comb these lovely little critters when doing plague investigations. I used to wonder if after they woke up and ran away, did they tell their family and friends they'd been captured by aliens?)

Those were all Simon's pictures. I'm sure you recognised his style.

Did I mention that by now we all had a fine collection of bug bites? Some itchy, some not. Bob won the grand prize for numbers -- I counted at least 65, thankfully not all of them terribly itchy ones. I took this picture not to blog, but to show him his own back. He was amazed, and I'm afraid he may have itched a bit more for having seen it!

The man who showed us where to park pointed out we had a nice view of the Sleeping Ute . I thought an absence of telephone wires would have improved the view, but there you go. The Sleeping Ute's head is at the right, then his folded arms. You can imagine his knees and just barely see the little peak they say is his toes.

I never did make out what was the purpose of the teepee in the car park, but the Brits found it mildly interesting, particularly as the youngsters were going to sleep in one the next night -- oh, yes, they were.

The local jack rabbits seemed to like cutting across the car park. Perhaps they found munchies there around the charcoal grills.

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