Our next move headed us north through the tiny town of Mexican hat and on to the southeast corner of Utah to Hovenweep, where we saw the second in our series of Pueblo ruins, this one very contained in a narrow canyon of light tan sandstone, a lovely setting. We surprised a small rattlesnake on our walk, and were in turn were surprised by it. It moved backwards and away from us quickly, a beautiful little animal.
After that we went over to Cortez, CO and enjoyed our first motel, a real bed and bathroom of our own in five days. The next morning, (10/15) we drove to nearby Mesa Verde, which we walked and drove and photographed. We took part in a tour with lots of other tourists of the very complex ruin at Cliff Palace, a complete village ruin tucked away in a major alcove in one of the canyon cliffs. Ranger Rick had lots to tell us, about the complex society of the people who inhabited this site and the culture they evolved and exported to the south.
We took photos and gaped with the rest of the crowd. We began to develop a great respect for these people who made a complex life for themselves with what we would consider very sparse means, and in a marginal environment.Proceed to Part 5: Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon