The cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde both fired my imagination and made me feel like a lazy slob.
|Detail from Spruce Tree House|
The people who lived here were farmers who depended entirely on rainfall for their crops. They used seep springs for drinking water. Their fields were at the top of the mesa, which meant they climbed the cliffs to tend them, using hand- and foot-holds in the rock. I would have made a terrible cliff dweller. I'd barely have made it to the top, and if a mountain lion chased me back down, it would catch me before I got anywhere near the second foothold.
We visited the museum by the Spruce Tree House on a wet, snowy afternoon and read up about the clothes that would have seen them through a winter day. I saw boots made of yucca fiber and turkey feathers. I read recipes that seemed very basic, but that I probably lack the skills to follow.
|The pits were used for ceremonies, and are believed to have|
But maybe I'm reading too much of my own culture into it.
I'll close with a shot of some typical flora. It amazes me that you can find the juniper in both Yellowstone and Mesa Verde national parks--and that it smells wonderful in both places. This one has a yucca plant growing at its base.