Friday, July 7, 2017

Mesa Verde National Park - Balcony House

On May 6, 2017 we spent the day checking out Cortez, Colorado.  We visited the Cortez Quilt Company where I bought a cute camper quilt pattern.  Scott wants me to make the quilt for the RV.  I can't decide if I like the blue and red version or the colored one they are both so cute!
I can't decide if I like this red, white and blue version...
...or this fun scrappy one the best!
I just love the fun Amy Bradley quilts!
Here's a version that someone did.  I really this this to make it bigger!
We also relaxed around camp and walked the girls.

Later that afternoon and went to Mesa Verde to see the cliff dwelling.  Today we went to tour Balcony House, a 1-hour excursion that is only accessible by guided ranger tour and costs $5.  Tickets can be purchased from the Mesa Verde Visitors Center.  Tours are offered from late April to mid October.  It is the most strenuous of all the tours and you have to climb up a 30-foot vertical ladder (practically straight up!) and about 4-5 smaller ladders plus a small tunnel in the wall.
Heading down the stairs to get to Balcony House
Getting ready to climb the 30 foot ladder!
This is steeper and harder than it looks!
With my Meniere's Disease I can't look up and also, don't look down.
I'm so small I could stand up in the little room right after I crawled in.
Most people had to crawl the entire length of the tunnel.
Scott and I at the first room
Our tour guild, Ranger David Nighteagle
According to the National Park Service it is the ruins of "Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300.  Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.  These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.  With 40 rooms, Balcony House is considered a medium sized cliff dwelling.  Only 10 sites in the park have more.  Evidence of how room and passageway construction in the alcove evolved through time can easily be seen in Balcony House.  Today, the tunnel, passageways, and modern 32-foot entrance ladder are what make it the most adventurous cliff dwelling tour in the park."

Because Balcony House is on the east side of the mountain, you want to do this tour in the late afternoon so you are shaded from the sun.  And, conversely, do Cliff House in the early morning hours as the sun is rising so  you are on the west side of the mountain and it's not too hot.  Cliff House opens after Memorial Day.  When we return to Mesa Verde in August with our grandkids we'll be doing Cliff House tour.

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