In ruins

No, this post is not about the global economy. Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting of payroll numbers was not great news, but come on. I still have all my stuff, right? Get a grip, developed world.

This is about our recent visit to the Four Corners region.

We had seen some of the Anasazi sites before, but things have changed since last time. Most notable were the changes at Mesa Verde. We were there in the 1980’s, and since then our friend Mr. Climate Change has paid a visit. They’ve had numerous fires, due to extended droughts and some opportunistic beetles that killed a bunch of trees, which subsequently burned. The other thing that was different was the Anasazi narrative, as explained by the Interpretive Rangers. Last time there was much more of a “hey, who knows?” aspect to the story of who these people were, where they went, and why. Now they’re pretty adamant about the current Puebloan cultures being the descendants of the Anasazi. It is a cool place to visit, as long as a wildfire is not currently raging out of control.

Our visit was brief; late afternoon and morning tours of the ruins around an overnight stay at the Far View Lodge. If you’re going, we can recommend the dining room at the lodge. And the lounge and patio. Visiting these places around the edges of the day has its advantages – there were very few people around, and in some locations we were the only people there. We spotted this large bird nest on the cliff wall above Square Tower House. This is probably where the Anasazi got their idea.

Another good place for ruins is the Wupatki National Monument outside of Flagstaff. Not many people here either. I heard traditional Native American flute music while we explored the main pueblo ruin. At first I thought it was coming from the visitor center building nearby, but it was a real person playing the flute – someone was down in the lower part of the ruins adding some very welcome background music.

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