Morning came early for us today because Mom, Dad and Shannon are not used to the time change yet. Things would have been a little better if I had the chance to give everyone the tour of the bathroom including how to shut the door, work the lights, flush the toilet. Instead, each person who got up struggled a little bit more than the person before them at successfully completing a bathroom trip and by the end of it everyone was wide awake. For future visitors: remind me to walk you through the finer points of the bathroom before you get drunk and pass out.
After we successfully packed the RV for transport, we headed to breakfast at the local IHOP. Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was off to Sky City. Sky City, aka Acoma Pueblo, is a village that is 370 feet above the desert on a Mesa that was founded around 1100 AD
. When we arrived Shannon and I were asked to cover ourselves up so as not to disrespect the villagers, apparently they're not sun dress wearers. All I can say is thank goodness "roughing it" includes the use of deodorant. It was sunny and hot. Being on top of the Mesa put us at about 7,000 ft above sea level, which meant we were closer to the sun and very sweaty by the end of the tour. The tour consisted of walking through the entire village, which was about a mile long. We started in the church, where we learned the story of how Catholicism and the tribal rituals were combined by a Spanish Monk who forced the Acoma people into servitude to build the church. Our tour guide Gary (his American name, I can’t really remember his Indian name) talked about different rituals for burying the dead and how the grave yard was lined with statues that were given faces to guard the soles. It was all really interesting. The people of the village were also selling genuine artifacts like bowls and figurines that they had made. Jared couldn’t resist buying a small pot from a lady for $10. At the end of the tour our guide showed us the original stairway to the top of the Mesa that villagers used for close to 1500 years. They gave us the option of taking a bus down the paved road or climbing down the stair way that bobbed and weaved around rocks and caves. The stair case was pretty incredible and hard to climb down. We were all surprised when Mom said she’d like to climb down, because she struggles enough getting up and down the steps at home which are not made of thousand year old rock. She was successful in her descent and showed some of that athleticism she’s always bragging about.