Posted by: mckenzie68 | May 29, 2010

Are we supposed to be off-roading? May 27 or Day 39

Today we decided to change it up and got up early!  We had breakfast and prepared to head out to see the Mesa Verde Ruins.  We knew we needed to be out early as we wanted to take one of the guided tours and it’s first come first served.

When we got to our bikes, we noticed that the staff had put buckets of clean soapy water marked ‘Bike Wash’.  It was awesome!  We ended up chatting by our bikes with a couple from Southern California, riding guess what?  Triumph Sprint STs!

We eventually headed off to Mesa Verde and were surprised at the park gate when the ranger said the roads where in rough shape and to be careful.  Man, was she ever understating the truth!  The roads had been stripped, grooved, pitted, there was loose gravel, and ‘ruin your day’ pot holes.  It was like we were off-road again, but on even worse road conditions than Valley of the Gods!   Not a fun ride at all, but in the end worth it to see the amazing ruins.

We arrived at the Far Side Visitors Center and booked a $6 Ranger tour at the Cliff Palace, the biggest ruins in Mesa Verde.  We rode down to the parking area about 8 miles south of the visitors center and parked our machines, putting our gear in the saddle bags for safe keeping.  We walked to the meeting point and took a bunch of pictures of the site, which was under a huge rock over hang, and did not seem real.

Ranger Rebecca soon arrived (hot stuff) and soon gave us an outstanding guided tour of the ruins!  She was a wealth of information.  It seems that the inhabitants had built a little town over 1200 years ago, that had stood the test of time.  I found it quite amazing that it had remained in such good condition over the many years.  Ranger Rebecca mentioned that there had been some 600 sites discovered in the park, however they have NOT recovered or disturbed many of them as there is no place to store the relics, and there is no need to open them to the public…amazing stuff.  We finished our tour by looking up into one of the buildings to see a painting inside that had been done by one of the original inhabitants.  It was so vivid in color, amazing!  We were the last ones out and on the way back up, we passed by the hand/foot holds that the Mesa Verde inhabitants used to crawl up and down into the village.  They must have been like spider monkeys!  It’s hard to imagine these people going up and down a sheer rock cliff with various bundles, including food, children, etc.  We packed up and rode down the mountain, rich from an experience in ancient history.

We finished the day in relax mode, and tomorrow?  Perhaps Albuquerque?   We shall see…

Ray

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