Monday, July 25, 2005

Spruce Tree House

This was the first site we visited and it is free to see. The other sites require tickets set for a designated time. The Spruce Tree House site was small and only a few dwellings remain. From our view point on top of the mesa the dwellings were quite hidden, you really had to look to see them. Remarkable how everything is snuggled up under the mesa cave.

We had to walk down a twisty paved path to get to the dwellings. It was a bit steep and there were multiple signs warning people with breathing problems and/or hypertension that this walk would be difficult. I was more concerned about how the girls were wandering along. The path was plenty wide enough for about three people to walk, but the drop-off was something else, one too many times did they get too close to the edge. If anything that is what kept my heart rate up. Good thing Daddy was relaxed. There was a pathway leading to the top of the mesa. We would have taken that hike if we had more time and didn't want poison ivy. That nasty plant covered the pathway.

This site had two rangers monitoring the visitors, I suppose babysitting if you will the site. I can understand why. Natural curiosity would get the best of anyone. It's so amazing how these structures were created in such a tight space. And yes my girls were caught running and told not to run around at the site.

There was a kiva that had been re-roofed so that you could take the ladder down inside. It is believed that the kivas were used for social gatherings, not dwellings and they tended to be located in the center of the "streets".

This chance to look inside the kiva was impressive. Once inside you first notice how dark it is; Besides the hole above very little light is available. The second thing I noticed was how warm it was. Compared to the cool air outside this was a very cozy room. I wonder if the dwelling buildings were as warm as the kiva? I also thought that the kiva would be bigger than it was yet once inside it was a different feeling, closeness, comforting. I wonder how many people would be inside during the social events?

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