Monday, July 18, 2011

Mesa Verde

We've completed two road trips this summer. And now we're DONE with that. Toddlers have no business sitting in the car for the 600+ mile trips we took. Well, actually, the problem was more like 1 toddler +  1 preschooler shouldn't be TOGETHER in the car for that long.  Alone, either one of them might have been okay, but together? It was rough, friends.

That said, we headed to Mesa Verde for a long four day weekend with my road-tripping-across-the-country parents. One of the things Fritz and I have PROMISED to do, living in Colorado, is take the piccolini to lots and lots of national parks. We hope our home base in Colorado will allow us to do this in a slow and measured way; as opposed to a big, gigantic trip kind of way.

I've always been the most intrigued by Mesa Verde with the cliff dwellings; it was a great place to start.

Line of tourists moving through the Cliff Palace.
Somehow, I got the impression that one could only see the cliff dwellings from across the canyon. I'm glad to report that was so not true. There are park ranger guided tours that go down ladders and walk through a few of the sites. The tours are big and crowded, but still! To be there! Wow! Also, as an architect, I have to tell you: I'm actually SHOCKED that the general public is allowed into these sites at all. They are definitely NOT handicap accessible (ADA) and from a conservationist's point of view: these tours have to be a nightmare. After our visit, I thought that Mattias and Noah will be VERY lucky to visit these sites so freely in the future. (Well, 'freely' for Noah. Mattias was in the backpack.)

Ladders, ladders. A backpack is the ONLY way to go for the climbing challenged.
Noah completed a Junior Ranger badge, even though I was skeptical of his readiness the whole time he worked on it. I've read before about what a wonderful program Junior Ranger is, and I have to say: it's completely true.  Noah was totally motivated and excited about his 'badge.'

I know, I know, hard to see the badge on that crazy shirt.
Of course, collecting looking at rocks is still an awful lot of fun to the male piccolini.

Quick! Rocks! Get 'em while you can!
Noah guilty-ly replaced the rocks before he got his Junior Ranger Badge.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Sounds like a very cool vacation! I've never been there, but it looks cool!