Where did they go?

One of the great mysteries of the Southwest is what became of the Anasazis, a people that prospered for several hundred years and then — around 1200 or so — disappeared. The question haunts historians and archaeologists to this day. Considerable information, however, can be obtained about the Ancestral Pueblo people, who lived in the southwest and built a remarkable culture that survives to this day. The Mesa Verde National Park, a short distance from Durango, Colorado, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Pueblo people who lived there, protecting nearly 5,000 archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. The park also offers wonderful vistas of the surrounding area. I spent a short time in Durango, but could easily have stayed longer; it’s a neat town with an historic past and vibrant present. At the campsite where I was staying I met a couple traveling throughout the south and southwest on a vintage Indian motorcycle. Now residing in Virginia, they originally hailed from Massachusetts. I watched them drive away yesterday with only a medium-sized bag on the back of their bike and thought well, yes, I probably had packed a little more than I needed.

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