Changing Seasons at Mesa Verde National Park

Latest posts by A.J. Fick (see all)


Contributed by Field Staff Writer J. Darland

I live only 7 miles from the gates of Mesa Verde National Park so I try to explore it often. This last visit was different than the any of the previous visits inside the park. It had been over two years since I had last explored. Some people say that if you’ve seen it once then you’ve seen it all. Well, I disagree on all levels.

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Each time I learn something new about the way of life of those individuals who lived within the dwellings.
This visit to the park was different because I was exploring it with my better half, my wife. On this trip I didn’t learn anything new about the history, but I did view the park from a different perspective. I had the pleasure of showing my wife around the park. Walking through some of the dwellings was an experience that we will continue to relive as an enjoyable experience. The biggest thought that always hits me while exploring the park is how fast and congested we allow our lives to be verses how the American Indians of the Mesa Verde era lived years ago.

Getting to explore Spruce Tree House was the highlight of the day. As we walked down towards the dwelling the questions from my wife were endless, in a good way. “How did they live in that?”, “What did they eat in this secluded canyon?”, “How many people lived in this specific dwelling?”, “Did these people have enemies?” I quickly followed up with thorough responses for each question.

IMG_2760We arrived to the base of the Tree House and walked in and around the dwelling. It’s always fun getting to climb down into the Kivu which is located in the front of the Tree House. Being a tour guide to your best friend in the outdoors is a enjoyable experience. Try it sometime!

It’s such a quiet setting inside the park. Hiking inside the canyons brought everything into perspective in regards to the types of wild game that was at their disposal, to what kind of weather conditions they faced, and how they collected water. All three aspects are a very fragile part of the lifestyle that took place within the cliff dwellings. I think that those three aspects are taken for granted in modern life. Not many people have to wonder where they are going to get fresh water. They simply turn on the faucet. Most people don’t have to think about how they are going to harvest their food. They go to the grocery store or a restaurant. People don’t have to think about living in the outdoors. They can remain in the comfort of their home.

On a positive note, YOU can be the change. You can be the one to share experiences with others that have never given the outdoors a chance. Talk is cheap, but at the end of the day we can be the influence in someone’s life that shows them the value of hunting, fishing, and/or gardening. By sharing in your outdoor life you are helping preserving our heritage. People have lived off the land for thousands of years. Let’s show the value, benefit, and rewards of harvesting nature.

Find your wilderness…


A.J. Fick

Born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in southern California, central Texas, and currently reside in western Idaho. I consider myself a western hunter at heart, enjoying being part of vast landscapes and the thrill of the stalk. One of my hunting mottos is “stretch the stalk, not the shot”. My motivations as an outdoorsman are rooted in the sustenance, independence, and challenging physical aspects. In fact, my largest driving factor for physical fitness is preparing for upcoming hunts and ensuring I’m well-prepared to climb mountains and cover ground with a heavy pack. I also recognize and respect the importance of conservation efforts for our wild animals and wild places and the close connection to hunting and fishing. If we want future generations to experience the wonder and adventure of the outdoors, and gain the countless benefits, we must continue to make wildlife conservation today’s priority to ensure continued opportunity.

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