USA Adventure Day 12

day 12We awoke bright and early on Day 12 and after family worship and a quick breakfast we headed for Mesa Verde.  Although I had lived in Colorado for years, I had never been to Mesa Verde.  Tobin had visited as a child but it was such a joy to experience this fascinating place as a family.DSCF8964 (800x600) (640x480) First we stopped at the museum located at the information center, your first stop on your drive up to Mesa Verde.DSCF8970 (600x800) (480x640) As we got to the top of the drive we began a small hike to the first of the cliff dwellings.  Here again pictures do not do justice to these amazing human architectural structures.  It is amazing to think that with limited tools and resources people were able to build these homes. DSCF8977 (640x480) DSCF8978 (640x480) DSCF8982 (800x600) (640x480) Malachi climbing down into a kiva.  This room was a multi-purpose meeting room and integral to Puebloan society.  These rooms like all other structures were very well thought out with ways for fresh air to circulate the room and the smoke from the fires to effectively exit the room all while keeping the occupants warm and comfortable.  Even light entered the room making it possible to the men who usually occupied the room to weave on their looms while discussing the business and politics of the community.
DSCF8985 (600x800) (480x640)A kiva but it does not have the roof so that you can look down into it.DSCF8990 (800x600) (640x480) A bridge along our hike.DSCF8994 (800x600) (640x480) Another type of home built by the Puebloan people was the pit house.  As the name suggests, these homes were partially buried into the ground.  Then using mud to make bricks or stones cemented by mud they built the walls and roof.DSCF8995 (800x600) (640x480) DSCF9003 (640x480) DSCF9004 (800x600) (640x480) DSCF9007 (800x600) (640x480) DSCF9011 (640x480) DSCF9019 (800x600) (640x480) DSCF9020 (800x600) (640x480) DSCF9021 (640x480) DSCF9026 (800x208) (640x166) As you may have noticed in all the pictures with the children in them they were carrying around some brochures.  These were their junior ranger guides.  They had questions and activities that could only be completed by visiting each of the different sites along the Mesa Verde road.  The final stop was the museum and gift shop at the top of the mesa.  There the children turned in their junior ranger guides for grading and upon successful completion would be inducted as junior rangers.  The kids had so much fun.DSCF9053 (800x600) (640x480) Our training officer was Ranger Teripan Franks.  He could trace his ancestry back to the Chickasaw nation.  He was very knowledgeable and accustomed to homeschool families. Each child received a badge to add to their collection.DSCF9055 (640x480) Because of the very cold temperatures in Colorado we stayed the night in a hotel.  The nights have been dropping as low as 26 degrees.  We had a quiet night of games and reflecting on all that we have done in only 12 days.DSCF9067 (640x480) DSCF9072 (600x800) (480x640)


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