We followed a pretty path through the woods that finally rounded a corner where we saw our first glimpse of a cliff dwelling. It did not seem very high up, so I was not too nervous. That all changed perspective once we climbed up to the point where we would meet a park ranger for a tour of the dwellings. When you look out, it does seem to drop down pretty far, so instead I looked up at what was next to come.
Our ranger was actually a volunteer and was very knowledgeable about the lives of the people who lived here in the past. It was a place of passing, rather than a city where families lived for centuries. In the valley below, there were basic necessities such as vegetation and water, and the meals were very basic. If I ever travel back in time, I am going to plant spicy peppers here to make meals more interesting for everyone.
Women and the Walls
We slowly wandered through the dwellings and examined the walls closely to look for fingerprints, shells, bones, pottery fragments, and any other elements of interest that the women used to chink the walls. You know my the fingerprints the size of the people who built the wall, and they know they were women. This re-wrote what I had believed about history.
Looking for Pictographs
As much fun as the group had looking for fingerprints and pottery in the walls, we then looked above us to see how many pictographs we could find painted on the ceiling. We took photos of each one the group found. One looked like a person, one like a pair of hands (we have a photo of only one of the hands below), and the rest were really a guessing game for the amateur.
The tour ended too soon in my opinion. There really was nothing left to see, but I really liked the place and did not want to leave. Our guide did a fantastic job, and we hope if we return again, we will be able to take another guided tour.