Mesa Verde, Colorado


Annie Shafran

This lookout is one of the last standing structures in Mesa Verde where Annie is for her brother’s graduation for the summer. Annie visited the rock formation coming back from Long House, one of the many cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde.

Lindsay Lee, Staff Writer

Annie Shafran, a senior at Mendham High School and the editor-in-chief of the Patriot, tells the tale of her eventful trip to Mesa Verde, Colorado. Her brother, Lucas Shafran, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder who majored in political science decided for his graduation present he wanted to go on a trip to Mesa Verde. According to Annie, “…he chose where [they] went…specific tours in Mesa Verde…because he had been wanting to do this for a while.” With the rich Pueblo history, cave dwellings, and welcoming people it’s not hard to see why. 

One of the attractions that Annie visited were the cave dwellings which she describes as, “really cool” because of the “restoration done” which accounts for its “great condition.” The Pueblo culture is an important aspect of the culture in Mesa Verde and Annie says, that in the park, “You’d be walking and see a pot with a sign…even the hotel…architecture…” 

It is nothing like New Jersey…it’s such a different pace and a different culture.

— Annie Shafran

Although the Pueblo history may be an important aspect in Mesa Verde Annie says it was difficult to tell if the residents of Colorado were well-versed in Pueblo culture. Places like Boulder and Santa Fe “seemed appreciative of it…small outskirt towns…were a little rocky.” When asked how her experience was traveling during COVID she said, “…the mask was the biggest change…and it was weird to see so many people on the airplanes…” 

In addition to visiting Mesa Verde Annie made pit stops at Durango and Santa Fe. She describes Durango as “the size of Morristown.” “There were some really pretty views though, with the Rockies surrounding us.” Despite the comparison to New Jersey, Annie remarks that “It is nothing like New Jersey…it’s such a different pace and a different culture.” “Santa Fe was really fun…just being immersed in a city that is so heavily influenced by the arts was a remarkable experience.”  

Overall, her trip was fantastic other than “…being tired at the end of the day and then having to wake up early the next day.” Mesa Verde is definitely a place to visit if you are looking for a place with a vibrant history and amazing views.