I couldn’t believe that I had not been using the Pano option in my many other park sites. WTF?
Truly, I normally don’t love the way they turn out but I kinda dig these. I’ll apologise now.
Fire Tower Hill, One way and the Other way:
Fire Tower Hill, Pano way:
I can’t recall how far into the park you find the Fire Tower but let’s say 6 miles. You have to go farther to get to the Anasazi – Pueblo Cliff dwellings.
There’s a dandy museum at the car park (toilets and running water to wash hands!) for the hike down to the Cliff dwellings (that are open to the public — note, farther along the Loop, you can park and go to covered areas with pit houses and info but you’ll want to walk down to the main ‘show’ if physically able). If you are not, Larry’s waiting for you. Larry’s mates circle overhead to the delight of Europeans and the cackling of Southerners. ‘Look out, Marge, he’s got his eye on you. You still want to stand there or go on with me?’
It was about 97F / 36C when we were there, which even in low humidity was a bit much. They warn you to take water. We didn’t cos Stoopid. I mean, it’s not like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s a HIGHLY-traversed hike on pavement. I’d have preferred to have water with me in that heat. The bonus was at the lowest point of the hike, you’re not only in 100% shade but there a SPRING, which blows like an air conditioner. YAY!
Cliff dwelling, One way:
Cliff dwelling, Pano way:
They call this the Treehouse. I don’t know why, it’s just along the hike. Sis wanted me to get up in it.
Sis had visited Mesa Verde many times but she hadn’t done the Loop that begins shortly after leaving the main Cliff dwelling hike / museum area. Again, we had gotten HOT and felt draggy but when she despondently asked, ‘You want to go?’ I answered the usual: ‘I’ve never been here, let’s go!’
She was SO happy that I did! It’s quite a long loop — probably not distance-wise so much as there are many things you can pull over to view. The first pull-off we chose was a fantastic overlook but the sun was in our eyes and all videos and photos were crap. I reckoned, with the word ‘loop,’ we’d probably get something better to look at as we went around. It sort of seemed to just be high desert / short foresty / scrub but then!
The largest ‘house’ we had seen: Sunset (blahblahblah), perhaps ‘House.’ Can’t recall and doesn’t matter. You could see other dwellings to the sides but we were delighted to have ventured farther afield!
I crapped out on taking more photos but this was our favourite. It’s called something like Fire Dance House (to the left) and to the right something else. It was amazing and we stayed here for quite a while.