the cliff palace in mesa verde, colorado... and I really mean "in."
this has been on my list for a very long time. every image that I had ever seen and every word that I read spoke mystery to me. about 1,400 years ago a group of people living in the Four Corners region chose Mesa Verde(the green table) for their home. for more than 700 years they and their descendants lived and flourished here... then, in the late A.D. 1200s, in the span of a generation or two, they left their homes and moved away. archeologists have called these people The Anasazi, from a Navajo word sometimes translated as “the ancient ones” or “ancient enemies.” They are now called Ancestral Puebloans, reflecting their modern descendants.
this was built in their classic period. 1100-1300 A.D. It had 150 rooms and 23 kivas. it was thought to be a social, administrative site with high ceremonial usage. fires built in summer were mainly for cooking but in winter, when the alcove rooms were damp and uncomfortable, fires probably burned throughout the village. you can see smoke-blackened walls and ceilings as a reminder of the cold. It was only in use for 100 years or so and then they left. For some reason at the highpoint of their culture they were dispersed within a few generations. there was drought and crop failures in the last quarter of the 1200s... and quite possibly maybe the land was just worn out with 700 years of use. I suspect a bit of both.
this was from a most wonderful morning when the park was still closed and I had it to myself.
This was my shot at it... Ansel kicked my ass. [link]
I'd have to say his list is my ultimate bucket list.
another in search of Ansel.