Mesa Verde National Park (Cliff Palace and Balcony House)

Hey everybody, things have finally gotten back to normal. While I was in the middle of a two part update about Mesa Verde National Park (Cliff Palace and Balcony House) then my editor started slacking.

Papa wasn’t around much this summer and that made updating very difficult. He was constantly on about a summer job with Ivey Performance Marketing in Milwaukie, Oregon and being extremely busy while in Oregon. I think he was just being lazy, and I know lazy!

Finally Time for a Nap

So now that I have my editor back I can get to regular updates again!

Where was I seems so long ago now. The trip to Cliff Palace and Balcony House was a different situation from the normal.

Not only could I not go, National Park and all that, but Mama couldn’t either.

Mama was in a horrible accident about four and a half years ago and there are certain activities that can cause her pain and they had read there were some real tough spots so Papa did this on his own to bring pictures back for the both of us.

Mesa Verde National Park

The way down to Cliff Palace was made a bit more accessible to the humans of current days. Not too much though, there are places I could get up if I wanted to. Like this place down there for instance.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses 2

What Papa was told was that there are these little holes that the Native Pueblo Indians would use to Climb down there! Reminds me of the time back at Arizona Hot Spings, the time I almost died.

Now Cliff Palace has some stairs and ladders to get down from up top.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses 3

As they moved in closer it was far more apparent how impressive these dwellings are. These people using nothing more than handmade tools and some serious athletic ability were able to make this place in the side of the cliff.

On top of that they farmed up on the plains. So these guys were in and out of these daily. Papa learned about the two sentry towers on either side to watch for intruders.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses

Here is another one of those Kiva homes like the ones back at Chaco Culture. These ones were smaller but they used the same architecture as the others that lived 143 miles away.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Kiva

After Cliff Palace Papa went to the tour over at Balcony House. There was a walkway for a little bit but then things got hairy.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Path

Make note to remember this guy.

Along the path they stopped at another Kiva for a lesson about the Kivas again.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Kiva 2

The Ranger gave a very informative talk about the native Pueblos and how they did things. Did you know that by the time they were 30 they were considered elders? The reason is that they didn’t live as long in this harsh environment.

The Pueblos teeth were filed down because of the powdered rock that they got with every meal of Maze. The Maze was ground between two special stones creating a mixture of powdered rock and corn. It wasn’t ideal but it was the only option they had at this time.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Ranger Tour

The time to climb back out had come and the first thing was to go up this little ladder and up the little walkway on the upper right. Not so bad I could jump up there.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Ladder Replica

Just around the corner there was a perfect doggy door for me to get through. Papa never said anything but when I saw this I thought the Pueblos must have loved dogs to make such an easy passage for them.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Doorway

I quickly learned I was wrong. Right after the doggy door they had to climb up this. I started to think that the dog idea was ridiculous.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Path Out

Here is what is waiting just after that! I was definitely wrong about the dogs…

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Ladder Out

Impressive side note though, this guy is 93 and went through the whole thing! Good on you Sir! It is great seeing someone still out enjoying life at his age.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses Ladder Out 2

Once up this ladder there was a great view and you could see down to the bottom of the ladder.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Houses 4

Finally after all that climbing Papa and his new friends were all right back at their cars. With a great view over the canyon. Everyone went their separate ways. I knew as soon as Papa was coming home like we dogs always do. I woke up and let Mama know Papa was en route.

Mesa Verde National Park Cliff

So finally the pack was back together and hearing about those Cliff dwellings was amazing! You humans never cease to amaze me.

Until next time!

Morefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park

After spending sometime letting the Magic House do its thing we found ourselves in Mesa Verde National Park at the Morefield Campground. It seemed we would be there for a few days.

Morefield Campground Hopi LoopThis place would be a great place for our daily pack walks and I let the humans know I was ready. Still though they made me wait. Something about having to park. I love parks!

I'm ready for a walk. Time to go!

I’m ready for a walk. Time to go!

The Magic House stopped in an area where no humans could be seen in all directions. Mama and Papa seemed very happy about this.

Morefield Campground SpotHere is the Magic House with the Tacoma all settled into their resting places. Glad we can finally stretch our legs.

Laying on Mama’s lap in the front seat can be a little cramped but I always insist on being up with her instead of getting comfortable on my bed right next to her.

Morefield Campground RVNow that we were finally settled in we headed out for our walk. It wasn’t long before something alerted my attention; my nose and ears went on search mode.

Morefield Campground Guillermo SquintI quickly found some strange animals walking around Morefield Campground.

I wasn’t sure what kind of animals they were but they had hoofs and ate grass so I can only imagine they would probably taste really good!

Morefield Campground DeerAs we made our way around Morefield Campground Papa suddenly stopped and walked away from Mama and I and slowly crept into the bushes. This is what he found.

It just looked like another bird to me.

I wasn’t nearly as interested in the bird as I was in these hoofed animals up ahead.

Morefield Campground BirdI was trying to get Mama and Papa to chase one of them down but despite my best efforts they decided to hang back.

The whole experience seemed like a complete waste of perfectly good meat to me. While they just kept talking about how beautiful these “Deer” were. Eventually they moved on and so we did the same.

Of course no outing would be complete without Mama making me sit in some random place with Papa saying “watch” over and over… I feel like I used to know what “watch” meant but it seems to have fled my tiny brain. It’ll come back to me I know it.

Guillermo Walpi LoopAs we walked around we saw that Morefield Campground looked like it had all kinds of places for people but there were none to be found.

I always love finding people but Mama and Papa just seemed shocked that there was no one around, they weren’t worried though so I just went with it.

Morefield Campground EmptyMorefield Campground is completely surrounded by mountains and nestled down in a little wooded area. We saw many different shapes of mountains on our pack walk as we took in the sounds and smells.

Small Mountain Morefield CampgroundWhen our walk was coming to an end just a short distance from the Magic House Papa looked up then stopped and pointed out more of those “Deer” that were just staring at us only a short distance away, surely this would be our chance for some meat.

No dice.

Papa remarked that his friend Bryan would be loosing his mind at the site of this many deer. We stood there for some time staring at these animals as they just stared back. Once again we didn’t chase after them… You humans are nuts! Surely we could have caught one of them, right?

DeerSo even though we didn’t bring any meat home Mama and Papa were still very excited to have had this experience here in Morefield Campground and I was very tired.  The next few days would find Mama and I resting in the Magic House as Papa left and came back with some crazy stories and pictures but that is another post.

Chaco Culture (New Mexico)

A few weeks back Mama, Papa and I went to a place in the middle of nowhere called Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Though I wasn’t actually able to get into the ruins, again, we had great trip that was like looking back in time.

The drive didn’t seem long but I was asleep most of the way so I could be wrong. (Oh, Papa tells me I was wrong.)

Through the desertThe road was desolate and for miles nothing could be seen. That is, until we came across some beautiful wild horses.

I remember the first time I met a horse I was hiking with Papa up in Oregon when we walked up behind two of them. I didn’t know what to do with these huge creatures so I kept my distance until Papa made me walk right past them. Can you imagine my small stature looking up at a horse…?

Wild HorsesAs we went farther into the middle of nowhere we came across these two buildings. They were the only buildings you could see for miles and seemed long since abandoned.

Desert DwellingsFinally we went through a gate and found the entrance sign to Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

ChacoWe were finally here and ready for an adventure. Alas, this was as close as I would get as again “NO DOGS ALLOWED!”

I’m noticing a theme here about National Parks and that theme is that they do not like animals. At least not the ones that people befriend.

Chaco TrailMama and Papa trekked farther and came across this plaque that tells of the finding and slight restoration efforts that were done once the ruins were unearthed.

Pueblo Bonito They began walking around the outside and around the back of this structure.

Approaching Chaco from the side The architecture here is very different from anything Mama and Papa had ever seen.

Area Closed Beyond SignOnce they were around the backside they went up on a ledge that looked over the whole building. They read that the archaeologists that found this place believe the outer walls were much larger when it was in use.

Chaco View

Saw this lizard

Saw this lizard

This wall here shows the height they suspect the outer wall was all the way around.

Chaco staircaseThese steps lead down to the entrance to the inside of Chaco Culture where humans can walk around and get an up close look at the ruins.

Chaco Culture interiorThis circular room are called Kivas and were used when the people would have important gatherings that involved a family. This is a Great Kiva where many families would gather.

Chaco GatheringBelow is a standard size Kiva. Mama told me these Kivas each represent a family. Meetings and birthing would happen in these as well as many normal daily activities.

A roof would be made by laying wood on the pillars and eventually when enough were stacked it would make for quite the roof. They even had vent holes at the bottom of most of them so the fire and the people could breathe.

Chaco Kiva Moving farther in there were rooms that were finished and most likely used for storage. Though to get through them you had to crouch to enter. Our old neighbor, Dean, who is a Native American up in Oregon told Papa about small doors and Native American culture.

Dean said it is about respect, symbolized birth and is humbling to the person as they came through. Ill intent and negative emotions are to be left at the door. I wonder if the same is true for the people that lived here?

Chaco DoorwayThis is the inside of one of these finished rooms. If you look close you can see someone was nice enough to carve RW into the wood. These look so out of place I can only imagine that someone with no respect came here and decided to blemish this amazing piece of history; too bad really.

I am a dog and you could trust me not to do something like this. Thankfully this was the only defacing they saw here.

Interior Room CeilingFinally when emerging from the other side, the trail had led them full circle and almost back to me. I always know when they are coming to get me and that made me happy.

Chaco wallDesert Frenchie

This turned out to be a great trip for Mama and Papa and I got a chance to sit in the shade.

Thank you to Papa’s fourth grade teacher, Mr. Oliver, for recommending we come to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Petroglyph National Monument Albuquerque, New Mexico (Desert Heat)

The other day the humans and I went to Petroglyph National Monument. Here we found a whole bunch of petroglyphs that apparently are as old as 400-700 years. It was a sunny day and right up until we got onto the sand it felt nice. Papa said something about it only being 64 degrees.

Tail to Petroglyph National MonumentWe made our way down the trail and just a short way in found quite a few petroglyphs. Only a short way in I needed water so…

GuillermosTravels.com getting waterOK, so there were two petroglyphs I wanted to highlight in particular here. The first one was very well done and it was clear that the hand that made it took pride in his (or her) work.

Very well done

Very well done

Here is a close up.

Here is a close up.

Here now I will highlight the petroglyph just above this one an another rock.

No Pride in WorkEveryone needs to start somewhere I guess. Or maybe it was the same artist before and after some experience.

It was very obvious very quickly that I was not going to make it far in these conditions. Despite the low heat the sun really cuts deep. Even Mama and Papa’s feet were feeling the heat through their shoes.

This turned into a short trip to the Petroglyph National Monument and it was interesting. We decided if we are to return we will need to come earlier than 12 noon.

We headed back to the truck and I had more water and panted for awhile.

French Bulldog GuillermoOn the way home I quickly fell asleep and the next thing I knew we were back at the Magic House. I had a meal and then pretty much slept the rest of the day as usual. All in all a good day. I wonder where we will wind up next?

Grand Canyon National Park

Just the other day the Magic House, now that it is working again, transported us to a place called Arizona. We found ourselves in a KOA Kampground in a city called Williams. Williams is about 50 miles away from Grand Canyon National Park.GuillermosTravels.comOn the way to the park we met a friendly bear named Smokey the Bear and he took me for a walk and taught me about forest fire prevention saying only you can prevent wild fires. That is a big responsibility for such a small dog!

Here we are at the Tusayan Ranger Station just outside Grand Canyon National Park

Here we are at the Tusayan Ranger Station just outside Grand Canyon National Park

Mama, Papa and I went into the park after hanging out with Smokey and what we saw was amazing; there was a huge hole cut out of the earth!

Excuse me you are in my picture. Mama was taking a picture of these nice people while Papa kept trying to get my attention.

Excuse me, you are in my picture. Mama was taking a picture of these nice people while Papa kept trying to get my attention.

There we go. Now where was I?

There we go. Now where was I?

Oh yes, as you can see the sky is quite cloudy. It was also very cold and windy so we went back to the Magic House for the day.

We saw some Elk on the side of the road but a Forest Ranger made us move on. It felt like a Move along people nothing to see here moment.

No stopping to look at the wild life...

No stopping to look at the wild life…

On the way back to the Magic House we met Fred Flinstone outside Bedrock. We didn’t go into Bedrock as it seemed to entirely target children.

FlinstonesMe being the equivalent of and 18 year old human, as far as development goes, I felt I was a little old for such behavior.

The next day Mama and Papa left me back at the Magic House saying I wasn’t allowed where they were going that day. Papa assured me I would hear all about it when they came back.

I have no idea how long they were gone; it could have been five minutes and it could have been two days. My sense of time is terrible.

However when they got home what they showed me was incredible!

They told me they took the free bus tour along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The first stop was an overview of the Bright Angel Fault line.

Here if part of the trail you can hike down into.

Here is part of the trail you can hike down into.

Here you can see the fault line in the middle down at the bottom.

Here you can see the fault line in the middle down at the bottom.

They made their way farther along the bus ride and saw some great views of the Grand Canyon.

Hanging over the cliff Majestic CanyonFinally at the far end of the trail they came to Historic Hermit’s Rest.

The lady sitting down in the background had apperantly broken her ankle in two places just three weeks ago. Impressive she was able to get there if you ask me!

Here they were able to get some of the delicious Grand Canyon Spring water from one of the free fill stations that are around the park.Grand Canyon Spring Water Fill StationInside the Hermit’s Rest cabin there is a gift shop and a HUGE hearth that even humans can walk into!

Hermit's Rest HearthJust outside is a great view with a passage from the Bible on a plaque carved from wood. The passage is Psalms 68 4.

Unfortunately the sun was so bright no matter the setting the picture was washed out.

Unfortunately the sun was so bright no matter the setting the picture was washed out.

This being the end of the road it was time for Mama and Papa to come home to me.

They rewarded my time sitting in my kennel by taking me to the dog run at the KOA Kampground. In the dog run there was a small agility course.

I have never been on one of those so Mama ran me through it. Boy did I fail! I am terrible at these things!

Guillermostravels.com has now moved on to New Mexico in a city called Gallup.

Last night Mama and Papa went to the Fire Rock Casino and Papa is doing a review of a great band they saw called Tequila Rain for the magazine he is writing for rockoveramerica.com. These guys are very talented.

If you have never been to Grand Canyon National Park I highly recommend going there. Photos just don’t do this place justice. If you have been there then you know what I mean.