September 6, 2010

ancestral pubeloeans

my first night on the road is camping at Mesa Verde National Park which is surreal.  i've been before but i really want to check it out again. i camp inside the park and get up early for a ranger led tour of the cliff dwellings. each tour is an hour but i'm disappointed because the first 20 minutes are spent talking about how strenuous the 100 foot descent will be and reminders not to touch anything. after the first 15 minutes i'm shifting from foot to foot and wondering exactly how long the shade under the tree i parked will last. nothing the ranger tells me is something i can't read in the literature or signs but you have to be on the ranger guided tour to get into the dwellings themselves and there is a limited number of tickets for tours.

in the end the cliff dwellings are amazing and i go through several getting out of the park a little after noon.  there is so much to see it would be easy to spend two full days in the park.  the cliff dwellers are called ancestral pubeloeans instead of indians.  i never figure out why.  i get stung by a bee and i try to remember what happens when you go into anaphalactic shock.  it just itches so i think i'm fine.  what is really cool is on my way out i see a group of wild horses.  they are beautiful and there is a foal with them.  the ranger talk i went to last night talked about the 'problem' they are because they compete with wildlife over resources. i guess it's more complicated than my little brain can follow cause i'm thinking if they are wild horses are they also 'wildlife'?

also in the really cool category is the regrowth after the widespread fires in the park.  i'm a fan of LET IT BURN because it's part of the cycle of life so i love it when the park services let nature do it's thing.  i cruise on over to the Grand Canyon National Park and get into my campsite just before sunset. the camp is empty and i'm in a great spot.

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