Sunday, January 25, 2015
Manitou Cliff Dwellings Girls Day Out
Yesterday my Sister, Michelle, and her daughter Nicole headed to Manitou Springs, Colorado for a girl's day out. Dylan (Nicole's little brother) decided to stay home with dad so it was just the three of us. The cliff dwellings are open 7 days a week and it appears that January is definitely off-season as there were only a few cars there when we arrived and left. I love when attractions are like ghost towns because you can take your time to meander, learn and absorb the culture without fighting the crowds. As we got out of the car I did sneak a glance at Box Radar but I did not see any Letterboxes listed at this location. I did not have time to research and print clues before traveling and since we were not sure where we were going it would have been too much work to try to anticipate our agenda.
The Anasazi did not live in the Manitou Springs area, but lived and built their cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area, several hundred miles southwest of Manitou Springs. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings were relocated to their present location in the early 1900s, as a museum, preserve, and tourist attraction. The stones were taken from a collapsed Anasazi site near Cortez in southwest Colorado, shipped by railroad to Manitou Springs, and assembled in their present form as Anasazi-style buildings closely resembling those found in the Four Corners. The project was done with the approval and participation of well-known anthropologist Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett, and Virginia McClurg, founder of the Colorado Cliff Dwelling Association.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings: http://www.cliffdwellingsmuseum.com
I think this is a great place for kids to visit. They can run around the ruins and touch and feel everything without having areas roped off like so many museums and preserves. Although the massive and beautiful gift shop is another story. If you visit you will be overwhelmed by the selection at the multi-level gift shop and this would be a spot where you would want to keep an eye on little kids as there are lots of breakables within reach of tiny fingers and hands. I did note that they have some amazing jewelry including White Buffalo Turquoise from the Dry Creek Mine. Anthony bought me an amazing bracelet in Virginia City last summer and I would love to get a pendent and earrings one day to compliment my bracelet.
White Buffalo Turquoise is found in only one mine worldwide, the Dry Creek Mine in Nevada. The mine is located on the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain. It was discovered in 1993. It is said that its name comes from Native Americans in the area, who believe that the stone "is as rare as a white buffalo." It is believed to form like "normal turquoise," with the exception of the absence of copper (which makes turquoise blue), iron (which makes it green), or zinc (which leads to yellow-green turquoise).