Mesa Verde, Take Two

Last summer we attempted to visit Mesa Verde National Park but wildfire smoke and Covid prevented us from seeing anything. It was a big disappointment… so this summer we decided to circle back for a second look.

Mesa Verde is known for its nine-hundred year old Puebloan communities built into cliffs along a mountain range. I had seen photos of these ancient buildings on the front of our Benchmark atlas and always wanted to visit in person.

Spruce Tree House
Cliff Palace
Sun Temple

Although Mesa Verde was much busier than last year, we had a perfect day to drive through the park and witness these beautiful structures up close.

Stephen and I never set out to visit ancient Puebloan sites but as we were driving south to our next campground we passed by Chimney Rock..a newly designated National Monument near Pagosa Springs, Colorado and decided to explore. It required a lot of climbing but we discovered more interesting buildings and views.

Still smiling after climbing to Chimney Rock

When we crossed the border into New Mexico we saw a point of interest sign for the Santa Rosa de Lima ruins. We expected to see another Puebloan site but instead discovered the remains of a Catholic Church built by Spanish settlers circa 1734. I spotted the picturesque building in the distance and had to stop for a photo. It was beginning to rain and lightning was in the distance but I snapped a few pictures before the thunder began to roar.

Santa Rosa de Lima in Abiquiu, New Mexico

11 thoughts on “Mesa Verde, Take Two

  1. Thanks for sharing – every adventure is more dramatic and interesting than the last.  I’ve always been intrigued by these communities built into the caves. However, if I were your mother I’d say … “But you did stay a little too long in the area of the thunderstorm”.  (How does the Vistabule do in a storm by the way?). E-mail from Ron Oveson this morning saying he had an e-mail from Lynn Overland: Bill’s son Peter died yesterday.  . Have you read  The Underground Railroad (historical fiction about slavery) – sounds good.  . Major meeting Tuesday night  for “All Owners” about $33,000 “erosion control and maintenance plan” (that’s just the beginning, just for this year).  The most annoying thing is that we have to take out the “road” that was put in on the backside for this construction (due to “Lower Minnesota River Valley Watershed vulnerable bluff requirements” to “allow water percolation into the soil and to address erosion control..I know you don’t want to hear this any more – I’ll stop.  Stay well – You look and sound like you are having just a wonderful time.Rosemary  


    • The camper can handle rain and a thunderstorm but I prefer to avoid it!! Funny thing is that nearly every afternoon the past two weeks we’ve had a thunderstorm and rain.. It only lasts and hour and then it’s gone.
      We visited Georgia O’Keeffe’s home in Abiquiui, NM this weekend. The views were stunning. I can understand why she chose to paint in this area.
      Sorry to hear about the “erosion control and maintenance”. I could feel my blood pressure rise.


  2. Julie and Stephan,

    The travels throughout the southwest, when Bill and I were snowboarding, were memorable. I’d have difficulty choosing a favorite.

    Bill’s son, Peter, died last night. Limes Disease, acquired bivouacking in Germany while in the Army, has been ravaging his body for the past twenty years.




  3. Love the joyful, inquisitive exploration the two of you live! So sad to hear that you are no longer MN residents but the southwest is beautiful and your neighbors will be graced by you! We just got back from 16 days in Iceland, what a magnificent and magical place! We leave for Austria in September. Love to hear about your adventures! Be well my friend!


    • Hey friend. So great to hear from you. Wow…Iceland! This is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Sometime we will need to chat via phone or zoom so I can hear all about it. Even though we’re no longer MN residents I promise we’ll be back for visits.
      I assume you are continuing your leave of absence if you’re traveling to Austria in the fall. Make sure and visit Salzburg snd take a “Sound of Music” tour. 😊


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s