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In the Shadow of Mesa Verde


5/11/10, Dolores, CO - Most of day we traveled with the towering ramparts of Mesa Verde filling the southern horizon. Trekking slowly past this huge mesa, which covers several hundred square miles, leaves plenty of time for reflection.

900 years ago, an advanced civilization of several thousand people lived on the mesa. They lived primarily from agriculture, and build several large pueblo type cities.  In spite of this, disease and warfare caused most people to live less than thirty five years.

At the same time, Europe was in the midst of the middle ages, with most of the continent under local rule. Disease, hunger, and warfare also caused most Europeans to have a relatively short life spans.

Life for both the ancient Puebloeans and Europeans was both short and tough. Most of the day was spent just trying to stay alive.

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Mesa Verde from the north.

Cliff Palace, one of the large Pueblos at Mesa Verde - National Park Service Photo


By comparison, life today is a wonderful thing.  The average life span has more than doubled, inoculations and trips to the doctor’s office takes care of most disease, and the vast majority of people never experience warfare.  In short, we live in a wonderful world!

And, if you don’t truly believe we live in a wonderful world, take a look at the following photos. 

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This is Jeana Kelly, and her 9 week old baby Ada.  Jeana’s extended family has been following my blog since I visited the school in their hometown of Oakdale, Illinois.  I have a feeling that Jeana “Knows” it’s a wonderful world!

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At nine weeks old, little Ada is now the youngest member of the Doc Fan Club

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Even Ada’s ‘piggies’ are happy to see Doc - except for the one that had to, “run, run, all the way home”.

After a very nice day of travel, full of wonderful people, we’re now settled comfortably at the home of Jim Lynch.  The team has some nice, tall grass in a fenced in portion of an apple orchard. Right now, they’re busy finding out how much green orchard grass a horse can consume in a 14 hour period.  I think they’re trying for a new Guiness Book Record.

It was a great day, in a wonderful world.  Tomorrow, we’re headed towards Dove Creek, CO.

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The Amigos, settled in, and hard at work with their favorite pastime.