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Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park is located in southwest Colorado near the town of Cortez. It is one of the largest Anasazi ruins sites in the United States. It is truly an amazing sight and it's amazing people lived in the cliff faces as they did.

Balcony House - Back Section
Balcony House - Back Section
(click to enlarge)
My first ruin when I visited Mesa Verde on Memorial Day weekend of 2004 was Balcony House. I shot this photo looking back towards an unopened section and was struck by how dramatic it is - seeing a man made structure so close to cliff.


Balcony House Kiva
Balcony House Kiva
(click to enlarge)
Just about every one of the large ruins at Mesa Verde contains at least one Kiva. In their prime, they were covered over. These days the roofs have eroded away leaving the large holes we see this day. Definitely provides great incentive to watch your step!

Kivas were cerimonial rooms and served as a place of religious functions and a place a gathering. If you go to Spruce Tree House you'll see one that has been covered over as they were in Ancient times.


Heading Up From Balcony House
Heading Up From Balcony House
(click to enlarge)
I took this heading back up from Balcony House. Somehow this lone stubborn juniper(?) tree managed to take root amonst the rocks. I was quite struck with the contrast of it against the sheer cliff faces and morning sky.


Long House
Long House
(click to enlarge)
Long House is one a large ruin that doesn't require a ticket it's quite a dramatic sight. The areas along the top served as storage - man and I thought my attic was a pain in the butt to get to! One thing that's quite striking about this area is how cool the recesses are - easy to understand why the Anasazi chose to build there.


Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
(click to enlarge)
Cliff Place is the other major ticket item here. There's a big group of people here - unfortunately there were always some stragglers so getting a people-less shot of this place is next to impossible. The tall structure in the back still has some paint and plaster intact and you can see it if you stick your head in there.


Cliff Palace Kiva
Cliff Palace Kiva
(click to enlarge)
This is one of my favorite shots from my trip. I was walking away from Cliff Palace when I shot this picture of a couple of kivas.


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