We visited the Anasazi Heritage Center yesterday which is just a few miles up the road from us and near Dolores, Colorado. While wheeling Susan up the ramp towards the Center we passed a sign that said “Escalante Pueblo 1/2 Mile” with an arrow pointing to the left. Sounded interesting and there was a concrete pathway so how hard could it be?
A lot harder than I expected. The path was uphill all the way and we’re at about 6400 feet in altitude. At least that’s my excuse. I huffed and puffed all the way up and had to stop several times to rest and get my breath back before being able to continue.
Escalente Pueblo sits on top of the hill. It was named for the Franciscan leader of an expedition to the area in 1776 and and it had long since been abandoned when they found it. It has since been dated to about 1120 AD. The Pueblo has been “stabilized” since (many of the stones have been re-set and re-mortared) and there was a group of people at the top learning how to take archaeological photographs. It wasn’t overly large but it still probably took a great deal of work to build it. The craftsmanship (which hopefully reflects the early builders and not the later restorers) was better than we expected.
Going back down was, of course, a lot easier than going up. It was a sunny, hot day and we’re glad we brought along water. We each still got a bit of a sunburn and Susan needs to remember to bring a hat any time we’re going to be outdoors for any length of time.
Getting up and down was a bit of work. Given that there were no handrails I’d say it would be difficult for anybody in a wheelchair to make the trip by themselves. There were many benches and wheelchair cutouts along the way though (even though none of them were in shade when we were there) so for a handicap accessible outdoor path going uphill it was about as well constructed as it could be. We’re glad we made the effort since it was an interesting site and there were numerous placards along the way highlighting the local vegetation and its uses.