After Antelope Canyon, Mesa Verde is such a change of pace. A quieter place that you need to see at a much slower pace. Just the view from the Visitor’s Center at the bottom of the drive (it’s a winding 45 minute drive up from the bottom to the top of the mesa) is spectacular. You see the snowcapped La Sal Range that sits on the border of Utah and Colorado right out the big picture windows.
These two sketches are from the top of the Mesa, looking across at a dwelling called Spruce Tree House.
We arrived too late to get on a tour to view the inside of the dwellings, so we were back the next morning to tour Balcony House. No watercolors this time, we had steep ladders to climb and tiny tunnels to crawl through, so all I have from the tour is two little colored pencil and ink drawings from inside the dwellings.
And yes, that’s our guide in the sketch above, standing between a kiva and he edge of a precipice.
These cave dwellings were built between 1190s, when the Pueblo Indians moved off the mesa tops to the cliffs to live, and the 1300s when they finally left, probably because a long drought made it almost impossible to farm on the mesa tops.
Other posts from this road trip so far:
And one last post soon: The Giants of Monument Valley