Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, May 26, 2012


12th Annual Mesa Verde Country
"Celebrating Our Song"
Indian Arts and Culture Festival
May 26 - June 3, 2012

Today being the first day of this annual festival, I rode the employee shuttle up to the park. I wanted to go to the Art Market and also to see the Pueblo Dances.

The shuttle schedule did not allow me to do both in one day. The events were at opposite ends of the park.  I rode up at 9:45 and returned on the 4:00pm shuttle.

I was in the area of "Spruce Tree House" on Chapin Mesa. The Pueblo Dances were held at the Chapin Amphitheater at 9am - 1pm - 3pm.  I went to the 1pm performance so that I could be on the 4 o'clock shuttle back to my RV.

To fill in the extra time, I hiked around Spruce Canyon.  I also walked on the Petroglyph Trail, but did not complete the entire trail.  There was a narrow stone stairway that I was having trouble negotiating, and I wished that I had someone with me to hold my pack or hold my hand or help me down. So, I turned around and went back to the trailhead.  I hope to get back to this trail with a hiking partner.  The brochures from the NPS suggests that you do not do this trail alone. The Ranger I was asking about this trail did not ask if I was alone, she just told me sign in the log book with the time I started on the trail.
click on pictures to enlarge

The top of the "problem" staircase
I went down the first 4 steps, and then it became more narrow (12"?)
and the next step was very steep, crooked and wedged between 2 boulders. 
I had nothing to hold onto and my backpack was too big.

I negotiated this area easily
Petroglyph Point Trail

I have a list of trails in this area that I want to hike. This week I found out that the girl that was looking for someone to go hiking with is transferring next week to Aramark in Glacier Bay, Alaska. I talked to her last week, we talked about trails to hike, but I guess she was not ready to "spill the beans" about her transfer. I want to go to Alaska :(

The dances were performed by a family from New Mexico
They are of the Oak Canyon Clan
They live at the Jemez Pueblo

The final dance of the performance was a group dance where they invited the audience to join in. I was sitting next to the Park Ranger and he handed me his camera and asked me to take pictures of him with the dance group.

Another event of the festival today was at the Ute Mountain Tribal Park Open House and Special Tours. The tours were of ruins that are not always open to the public.  We have had high wind warnings for the past 3 days with wind gusts up to 60mph. I did not want to drive the RV this weekend, so I missed out on this.  I checked their website and they will have some other special events later this summer.

Spruce Canyon
"dust bowl"

I feel like I received a free exfoliating facial today
from all of the blowing dirt and sand.

The festival continues all week and there are more events planned. I'm hoping to attend the Annual Bear Dance and Pow Wow of the Ute Mountain Tribe next weekend in Towaoc, CO.


  1. I remember the festival of 2005 and saw some amazing dancers and regalia.

    We've had some very high winds too, just not so much dust as MEVE.

    Definitely time to find a hiking partner.

  2. we had a few of those high wind days here in Nevada as well, not good for RV driving...

  3. I would have turned back too. Too bad you didn't get to dance.

  4. Even with a partner I'm not sure I'd be able to do those steps. You be careful and fingers crossed for you to find a hiking partner. Lots of wind down here in AZ also but today is beautiful.

  5. Great fun... I wish I were in better shape to go hiking... just too bone lazy!

    I'm also thinking pretty hard about Alaska. I understand late June is an excellent time. I need to check out the passport stuff ...

  6. It always amazes me to see those rocks just sitting like that and wondering if a great wind will make them blow off. Nice pictures. Glad you didnt have to drive.

  7. This sounds like a wonderful festival. I've been to Mesa Verde but hadn't heard of it. You will get to see so many things there that those of us who can't stay as long will not get to experience. Lucky you!


  8. Using a hiking pole is a good tool to steady yourself going down steep and narrow trails if you are not already using one. In addition, you may not need a hiking backpack on shorter trips. I know fannie packs look dorky but are great for storing camera, cell phone, and one bottle of water vs full backpack. And don't be timid in joining other hikers for safety on the trail to share your many interesting adventure stories, like you do on your blog. Great pictures of the dancing ceremony.

  9. Festival sounds great and loved the photos of the dancers. Looked like fun. Noticed you were following one of my blogs so decided to check out yours. Nice job.
    Another Teri


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It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb