Cold morning- around 30F. Soon as the sun comes up, it spikes to 70F. I start off the morning going to a guided tour into a cliff dwelling. It involves a bit of a ride along the top of the mesa to get there. Along the way I stop and look at some other dwellings. These people were crazy!
On the tour, we climb down a cliff face and enter the remains of a dwelling. Some of this was rebuilt by NPS.
I can't imagine what it would be like to live here. The environment is so harsh. The sun is as relentless as the lack of it. The only water source is a crack in the rock that weeps. The rooms are built right to the edge with a hallway behind everything.
The things people will do for a view:
Once done with Mesa Verde, I hit the road for Moab. Its hot and windy. At least it isn't a terribly long ride. As I near Moab, I come across Wilson's Arch. Its a doozy. Its a nice way to be welcomed into the area.
The last bit into Moab turns into a suckfest. Traffic is stopped. I've been over 7000' for the past several days. I drop down to 4000' and the heat is miserable. The bike indicates 101F. I roast on the road for a while and we finally get moving. Road construction has us movingly slowly for the rest of the way in. I make my way into Moab and find a campground. Its a privately owned campground with all of the regular crap. Once I get set up, I head to the Arches. I decide to do a rare thing and squid it up. I leave the Roadcrafter behind. Its just too damn hot and I'm going to be traveling at bicycle speeds.
Upon entering Arches, I'm greeted by some amazing rock formations. This is a humbling place. Their magnitude alone blows me away. What nature has done to these rocks is a show of force.
I take a hike down through a wash. The place doesn't even feel real. At the same time, it feels like the place might kill me with no remorse.