June 1 – by Katelyn
Today we went to Mesa Verde National Park
Today I got up while Dad was driving to Mesa Verde National park. When we first got there we went on a ranger led hike into Cliff Palace. Cliff Palace was built 800 years ago by Ancestral Pueblo people, and it is the largest cliff dwelling ever known.
One really amazing fact is that after working so hard at building these Cliff Dwellings the Pueblo People only lived here for 100 years! The Cliff Dwellings are made out of rocks and a mud mortar. The mortar is made out of little rocks, mud, clay, and urine.
I really like this dwelling because it really looks like a palace and it looks a lot different from some of the other dwellings that we have seen. The differences are that the other dwellings are only one story high and these can be 3.
Another difference is that the other ones are all the same size and shape (squares) when these have squares, circles, and towers. One last main difference is that these have doors when some other ones just have ladders going into the house on the roof.
Towards the end of the hike we had to climb up a bunch of steps, and it was funny seeing all of the people panting and talking about how they can understand that people get heart attacks climbing up the steps. After the hike we went on a scenic drive where we also learned a lot. My favorite part of the drive was when we could get out of the RV and see little pithouses.
Pithouses are underground houses that have a lot of benefits and negatives. One benefit is that it stays cool in the summer and warm I the winter. A negative is that the roof is really low and it is made out of wood so when people had fires in them many roofs catch on fire making it really dangerous for people to live in. Pithouses are the oldest houses that the pueblo people made.
Another cool stop on the drive was an overlook looking over the square house, which is another cliff dwelling. I liked it here because we got some really good pictures and I got some M&M's. After that we went on a hike to see petroglyphs. The hike took us 2.5 hours. I really liked this hike because I had some really great views of the mountains.
Once we got to the petroglyphs I was amazed at how neat and detailed they were. I could make out a mountain, hands, an eagle, a sheep, and a family! These were my favorite petroglyphs because I could see them really clearly. One really funny thing that happened while we were here is that a really pretty blue and black butterfly kept landing on us.
After we saw the petroglyphs we climbed up a really steep set of rock steps. Next after we climbed up the steps Madison fell and she said that she got a wedge! After this the hike was about over and we drove to Wal-Mart.
On the drive I saw a coyote. Then we got there and went to bed. I had a great day!