Author Archives: adamjbianchi

About adamjbianchi

I am a filmmaker and a computer scientist. I have a passion for problem solving and travel.

Documenting Your Travels: Photo Series

My boots - Grand Canyon, Arizona

My boots – Grand Canyon, Arizona

Photo series can be a great way to document your travels. They are easy to do (once you pick your specific thing) and they look good all together on your fridge, in a scrapbook, or in a facebook album. Some of my friends like to take jumping photos, but those usually require at least two people (one person taking the picture and at least one person jumping).

The other issue is that it takes some skill to get the shot. Handing the camera to a random person and asking them to take the photos doesn’t always work out so well.

Another way is to photograph a special object wherever you go. Emily sometimes brings her unicorn, Buttercup, with her on trips.

Buttercup - Nassau Bahamas

Buttercup – Nassau Bahamas

This, however, means remembering to bring that object with you every time you travel. That’s why I started taking pictures of my shoes. I usually take photos of them when I’ve been hiking so the shoes tie in more with the location.

My boots – Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Whatever your special take on the photo series is, it can be a fast and easy way to visually connect all of your travels without having to buy a bunch of shot glasses.

-AJB

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Cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde

Cliff Palace - Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff Palace – Mesa Verde National Park

One of my favorite stops on our journey west was Mesa Verde National Park. This park, located in Cortez, Colorado, is an amazing place to see one of America’s most famous ancient ruins. The Pueblo people, previously known as the Anasazi, built homes and whole communities into the sides of cliff faces, the first inhabitants in the area were well established by 600CE but the cliff dwellings that make the site so famous were built between 1100 and 1300CE It is an amazing step back in time to visit these ancient sites.

Cliff Palace, the largest site with over 200 rooms is an absolute must see and is only accessible by a ranger lead hike. Tickets are available at the visitor center and they leave every half hour so there are plenty of opportunities to get there. However, it is important to remember that the site is about a half hour drive from the visitor center. I loved the hike and the rangers were very knowledgeable about the site and answered any questions.

Cliff Palace - Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff Palace – Mesa Verde National Park

Another must see site is Balcony House, this is a smaller dwelling that you can actually climb inside of and see where the ancient Pueblo lived and worked.  This is another ranger lead hike that you need to buy tickets for.  The hike is more strenuous and if you are afraid of heights or climbing up ladders on the sides of cliffs you might want to stay away. Also, at the end you need to crawl through a tunnel that is about 18 inches wide, so that might stop a couple people from exploring this site.

Cliff Dwelling at Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff Dwelling at Balcony House – Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff dwellings - Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff dwellings – Mesa Verde National Park

Stone wall of a cliff dwelling - Mesa Verde National Park

Stone wall of a cliff dwelling – Mesa Verde National Park

There are many sites to visit and there is a camp ground located within the park so you could easily spend a couple of days taking your time and exploring the area. We took one day and visited the Cliff Palace and Balcony house and I wish we had more time to visit some of the smaller sites. This is a beautiful and important part of American history, so you should take the time to give it the attention it deserves.

-JDB