After our night in the Walmart parking lot we moved less than half a mile down the road to La Mesa RV. We used our Passport discount and it was $20 a night. We drove to Mesa Verde a place that when I see it in photos makes me say, “I want to go there.” We arrived at the visitors center and purchased tickets to tour Long House. There are three different Ancestral Puebloian villages that you can tour with a ranger. The tours are $3 a person. We drove about an hour to Weatherill Mesa where the tour would begin. We took short walk to see Step House where there were several pit houses and a cliff dwelling.
When it was time for our tour we boarded a tram for a short ride to the trail we would take to Long House. We learned how Ancestral Pueblo people settled here and constructed pit houses around 600 A.D. They farmed corn, beans and squash and hunted wild animals. Later around 700-900 A.D Pueblo villages were constructed. Rough cut stones were loosely cemented with clay in these above ground dwellings. Finally around 1200 A.D. people began to build dwellings inside cliff alcoves.
Our tour guide Lara was very knowledgeable a welcomed all our questions. She taught us about how the Ancestral Pueblo people used there resources. We learned how the ground corn with a mano and metate. How seep springs provided water and how they used fire to keep warm.
After our informative tour we hopped on the tram to explore more of this historic area. We toured the Badger House Community and saw several different sites showing the change that occurred over the 600 years people called this harsh land home. We stopped at the Kodak House overlook and Long House overlook. There are more than 600 ruins here at Mesa Verde.
We discovered the fruits that grow on yucca and how this whole plant can be used. The people who lived here used everything they could to help them survive.
On our drive back through the park the views were amazing! It seemed as if you could see forever! We stopped at the visitor center to turn in our completed Junior Ranger books. The unique stop on our journey will remind me of how much our civilization has learned from the people who lived here before us.