Santa Fe & Colorado Road Trip

Summer 2008

Since my first visit in the 1980’s, Santa Fe, NM has been a favorite.  I have relatives there, and it had been about 5 years since my last trip.  This time, we decided to do a road trip to southern Colorado visiting Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes National Parks.

Mesa Verde National park is one of several sites in Southern Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico which was the home of the Anasazi - Ancient Pueblo Peoples.  The Anasazi’s lived between 700AD and 1200AD and are known for their cliff dwellings.  Mesa Verde is unique in that there are several sites.  We saw three, Spruce Tree House, Cliff Palace and Kodak House.  Each is about 100 - 150 feet below the top of the mesa.  One visits by taking trails, stone steps and/or ladders.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is somewhat bazaar.  The dunes rise 700 feet above the valley floor and have 13,000 feet mountains as a backdrop.  These dunes are the largest in North America with no significant water in sight.  Apparently, the valley at one time, was a huge lake with a sandy bed.  As the lake dried, the winds pushed the sand against the mountains and the dunes were formed.