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Day 33-Mesa Verde, Driving Home Part 1

(this is on the far east side of Grand Canyon park roads.  It is in an old fire tower)

So frustrated. I typed up the post for yesterday and when I opened the file again it was gone. So here it is again,… never as good the second time.

Yesterday was hard. I am never the last person in the family to get sick, but I managed to this time. Lily and Ian had the sinus bug in California and Bryon got it at Grand Canyon. I managed to pick it up bad starting Saturday evening. I don’t know if I get sicker or just am a bigger baby about being sick… but I am a mess.

We didn’t have that far to drive so we decided to add on a few other places to the route for the day. The first detour we took was to the four corners… but when we got there it looked cheesy and we didn’t end up paying to get in.

The other place we detoured to was Mesa Verde National Park. This park, in the south west corner of Colorado, was set up to preserve architectural ruins that were built in the early 1000’s. It claims to be the best site in North America of its kind. We didn’t have much time so we just went straight to the Spruce Tree House. This house was used by 60-80 people and is one of the buildings that we could visit without a tour. Tucked back into the rock wall it was still surprisingly intact. We couldn’t walk over most of it, but some of the front area the kids could crawl all over.

They had these rooms that were circular, about 10‘-12’ across and only accessible from the top through a little hole and down a ladder. There was one that we could go down into. It was unclear, listening to the Ranger, if this was a family ‘house’ or a room used for religious purposes. There was at least 3 or 4 that we could see in the whole building/longhouse structure.

We crawled down into the room, but it was really dusty and hard to breath. I can’t imagine living in something like that. Either way, the kids loved the ladder.

Lots of buildings are in the area still. It would be a great place to visit and see more of at another time. This is crazy far back compared to most of our history. When people built these buildings the ‘known world’ didn’t include Asia much less any of the Americas and most of the Islands. They have survived lots of time and a lot of world changes.

Last night was one of the nights we didn’t have planned out. Originally, we were going to drive straight through to Denver in one day, but Bryon really wanted to see Arches National Park and it would have been too long of a driving day to stop.

By evening my fever was over 100 and so first we looked for hotels… but they were more than we wanted to pay, so then we searched for campsites only to come to the realization that neither of us wanted to unpack the car, set up, take down and repack late at night or in the morning. We found a hotel just south of Arches National Park and Bryon talked them down on price. This is one of the great discoveries I have found in the last year. We spent lots of last winter in hotels for work and I always thought that their prices were fixed, but it turns out there is wiggle room when you ask for discounts. So here is the tip (if you don’t do it already)–Always ask for a discount! Not rude or pushy, but asking for a discount, or even sometimes two, really pays off.

Hot tub, hot shower, nice bed… so great. I love camping, but setting up in the dark with a fever seemed like the ‘end of the world’ last night.

The kids have been on a roll with great quotes from the back seat. Here are two I wrote down today to share.

Ian-”Lily, my butt just burped by itself”

Lily-“Look, that horse is growing a 5th leg”

So, when I pulled this picture I realized that it looks like we are disobeying the sign.  The wall is in the front.  The floor was ok to walk on.   🙂

Ian, first down the ladder.  Not sure why he always sticks his tongue out, but he sure tries to everytime Bryon has the camera out.

Lily going down into the hole/room.

I don’t know who this kid is.  Bryon was just shooting the room.  His flash worked really good.  In reality, it was so dark we couldn’t see much but the ladder and the hole at the top.

A long shot of the Spruce Tree House.

Taking a picture by a window in the the Spruce Tree House.  It is still so intact…. this is good construction!