Visiting Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, was a fascinating trip. The drive from the visitor's center and entrance to area of cliff-dwellings we visited was on a gorgeous windy road. I finally understood why the place was called Mesa Verde - it was so green and lush. I wasn't familiar with this part of the country and I was expecting more of a desert.
We decided to go at our own pace, so we didn't sign up for any tours, but this time of year you can walk around Spruce Tree House without a guide, so that's what we did right after exploring the museum. Seeing (and walking) where the Ancestral Puebloans lived was a remarkable experience. Afterward, we drove to the Cliff Palace overlook and admired the view - imagining what it would be like to live there 700+ years ago. I'm really interested in learning more about the Ancestral Puebloans, and plan on seeking out some books and documentaries (recommendations welcome)!
I read Kathryn's post on Kitsune-Kun about Mesa Verde a couple years ago. Like Kathryn, my husband and I are big fans of the Nancy Drew games and we also had feelings of geeky delight about exploring a pueblo cliff-dwelling similar to the one in The Secret of Shadow Ranch. ;-D