Desert Storm 2009 travel blog

Deer on the run

wild horse

 

pit house

tower ruin

cliff palace

Russ, Kathy and Kathy

Kiva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ancient wall painting

 

 

Kathy starting the trip out of the Cliff Palace tour

 

 

Kathys at Balcony House

Balcony House ascent to the top through the tunnel

 

 

more wild horses - the third group we saw

 

Kathys

 

the gang

into the tunnel goes Kathy

Out of the tunnel comes Russ

Kiva diva

up the Kiva


Well, Sunday lived up to expectations. The day started just as it ended. Russ and I went to the Visitor Center to pick up tickets for our ranger tours and came across a small herd of wild horses and a few more mule deer. What a place!

We chose tours in the afternoon so we could explore on our own in the morning. What we were told would take us a couple hours took more like 5 hours, but I guess we are a strange group. There is a drive loop you can take that gives you overlook vistas of many of the larger sets of ruins. We didn’t realize that there were so many. It became a bit overwhelming and the few pictures we included here don’t do justice to the dozens of sites we visited.

The most spectacular is the Cliff Palace, a fantastic structure that can be seen from various overlooks as well as from a ranger guided tour. But, the top side ruins on the mesa are just as interesting and there are many “pit houses” to explore.

The site of the original visitors center is worth the look on its own. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s the buildings depict the southwest architecture of the time. In them you will find a museum, post office, ranger station and very nice bathrooms.

Much of what the rangers call the ‘stabilization’ efforts took place in the ‘30s by the CCC. As one ranger put it, they did some things that really shouldn’t have been done. In the process of the stabilization they destroyed some of the original features of the ruins and may not have put everything back the way they found it. While this is disappointing from a purist standpoint there is no denying that the original builders created something very special that lives on to today.

Enjoy the photos!



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