Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monday...Mesa Verde

We got up early, for the Smiths, and headed towards Durango and then Mesa Verde National Park. We stopped at a gas station/convenience store along the way, first one I've seen that sold chainsaws! Once at the park entrance you still have quite a drive into the park. Our first stop was Park Point Overlook, at 8572 ft. the highest point in the park. Then we went to the Far View visitor center. We picked up Junior Ranger guides for the kids and signed up for a ranger led tour to see the Cliff Palace ruins. Before our tour we visited the Chapin Mesa Museum. The kids worked on the activities in their guides as we viewed dioramas, artifacts and displays. We ate a quick lunch of pb and j sandwiches and headed to the Cliff Palace ruins. It was listed as a strenuous hike, but it wasn't too bad. We learned a lot about the ancient Puebloans and their life in the canyons. It was neat being able to be up close to the ruins. After our tour we drove around the loop making several stops to view other cliff dwellings. Before we left we stopped back at the museum to have the Junior Ranger guides signed off by a ranger and the kids received their Junior Ranger badges. We left the park and headed to Durango to find dinner. We ate at Applebee's and then made a stop at Wal-mart. By the time we arrived home it was late and we were all exhausted.

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