Friday, September 4, 2009

From Mountains to Desert

At the Continental Divide

I left you all in Montrose.

I am now writing from Page, AZ! We are here to see Lake Powell. The Colorado River was dammed here in the 1950 somethings to create the Lake out of the vast Glen Canyon. The Lake is just amazing. We are planning to go swimming and do some minor cliff jumping in it tomorrow. I guess it's legal as long as the jumps are less than 15 ft. I will stay with Elise in the shallow areas - thank you!

The three girls in front of the landscape

We spent the last two days in Mesa Verde seeing the cliff dwellings there. So much history and mystery there. After listening to 3 different rangers give talks on the people that lived in the cliffs and farmed the Mesas there, we listened to a 4th on our last night and got a whole different perspective. Archeology is a lot of guesswork I discovered, with as many different theories as creation! I did however see some amazing accuracy demonstrated in their dating practices. They used tree-ring dating to date the cliff dwellings - marking most of them in the 1200s.

The family in Cliff Palace

The dwellings were amazing to see and challenging to get to. Up and down ladders, etc. These were built at great heights! Fortunately, the entrances are now structured so as to allow somewhat safe passage for tourists. Still, there are signs warning those of ill-health not to attempt!

Cliff Palace

We camped at the Mesa Verde campground for those two days and it was a very nice campground. Free showers with privacy and the water was nice and hot. I like staying in hotels but it makes food preparation difficult, especially for dinner.

I bought a little Moleskine sketchbook at the little bookstore here at the Lake Powell dam visitor's center. I wish I had bought it sooner. I hope that I have enough time out of the car to do some sketches along the way.

After these two days we head into 3 national parks and will most likely not have internet access. Will try to report on Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon in a week or so!

Approaching Monument Valley

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