By Janet Walgren
I have been fascinated by the photos that my friends email me or post on facebook or their blogs about the places that they call home. I remember thinking what a beautiful place India is (after Archana posted photos of her trip to the Indian countryside). Before her post I thought India was a place that I would never want to visit… full of poor, fly infested neighborhoods with starving people who had snakes in their houses. Now, I know that isn’t true and I would love to go there.
I can imagine that many of my blogging friends around the world have watched TV, news and movies depicting America as a dangerous land overrun with large cities full of criminals and immoral people. Nothing could be farther from the truth so I thought I would do a series about the place, and the country, that I call home.
The United States of America is a large diverse land with many landscapes and cultures. I would like to show you one of the places that I visited recently.
I took my dad on a trip to Mesa Verde, Colorado for Father’s Day to see the ruins of the Native American cliff dwellings. The ruins are amazing. For hundreds of years these cliff dwellings existed undisturbed and undiscovered in the high desert canyons of southwestern Colorado.
There are over 4000 ruins, 600 of them are in the cliffs.
Know one knows where the inhabitants came from or where they went, we only know that at one point in history hundreds of thousands of people lived and thrived in these cities built on top of and in the sheer desert cliffs. It was quite a hike to go down to see the ruins and I can’t imagine trying to raise a family there. But this is where hundreds of thousands of people called home.
Imagine a sheer cliff of red rock and half way down is a cave with a city inside. Imagine raising a family with babies, toddlers and exuberant teenagers in a cave in a cliff. Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans did just that.
“Split-Level History. Mesa-top and Alcove Living. Although the Puebloan used the cliff alcoves throughout the entire time they lived in Mesa Verde, the cliff dwellings themselves were not build until the final 75 – 100 years of occupation. For over 600 years these people lived primarily on the mesa tops.
Of the 4000 ruins within the park, only 600 are cliff dwellings. All of these cliff dwellings were built and occupied between A.D. 1200 and 1300.”
Here are some of the photos I took on my trip: