Our final stop on this road trip was Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County in Colorado. Ryan had visited this place a few years ago and thought it was really neat. He wanted me to be able to experience it also. We pulled up the park just before closing and was able to drive through this amazing place.
Mesa Verde National Park was established by Theodore Roosevelt to “preserve the works of man.” These archaeological sites were built by the Ancestral Puebloans who lived there for more than 700 years (550 A.D to 1300 A.D.) As you can see in some of my photos they were a progressive group of people. Their homes began very small and simple and as the years went on became much larger and more elaborate. We were only able to see a small amount of the sites. Mesa Verde National Park has over 4.700 archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings, pit houses, pueblos, masonry, farming structures and mesa top sites. Some still have yet to be discovered.
I wish that we could have spent more time here. It would have been so educational to read and learn more about the Ancestral Puebloans who lived here. The Puebloans were a talented group of people; for example, they literally built their homes beneath the overhanging cliffs. I highly recommend stopping here. Make sure to give yourself more than a few hours. The history alone is awesome, but so are the views. Take a look!
Ryan and I spent New Years Eve in Durango Colorado. We were so exhausted from all of the driving that we had a pretty easy going evening. We went out to eat Pizza at a local wood-fire pizzeria and then went back to the hotel and crashed! I even was asleep before the ball dropped!
This road trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so blessed to have been able to spend it with my husband! I am pretty sure that if we can survive a 4,000 mile journey in our first year of marriage, we can survive just about anything! A huge thank you to all of the family members that we were able to stay with while on this trip. It was so great to see all of you and we miss you like crazy!! Hope to see you soon!!