Thursday, June 9, 2016

4000 Years Ago...People In New Mexico Were Tough! (part tres, photo heavy)

We all have bucket lists of things to do before we stop roaming this plane. One on mine was to see cliff dwellings, which I thought would happen somewhere else, but at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico there are a lot of cliff dwellings. And a lot of stories. And a lot of stairs. Even before we got to the official spots it was easy to see dozens of these dwellings up on the cliff faces, even the spots where the vigas came out from where there were once roofs. It was an ancient kind of condo world, complete with wall paintings still faintly existing. 

First though, we stopped at the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum, a happy fluke where the building drew us in even before we knew what it was. Admission is a donation of whatever you think good and it is well worth the stop. No photography is allowed so you'll just have to go there yourself to feel the power of spirit that imbues the place. First of all, Tewa is the language and culture of New Mexico's eight northern Pueblos. In the Tewa language, Poeh means pathway. But it is also part of the tribe...along with the Anasazi. There is so much interwoven history here over about 4000 years or so, a simple blog post won't cover what might take a lifetime for an outsider to understand. I can just say that these people are reclaiming their heritage in very powerful ways. 

Once again no photos were allowed inside this amazing gallery or in the Cultural Center, but outside had some great statuary. 

This is from the Roxanne Swentzell gallery.
Well worth a look!
The above gallery (as well as a couple more that were closed) and the museum are all in a group of buildings mostly done in the old adobe style, built as an arts and culture center but then left unfinished. Roxanne came in and redid the building now housing her works, using old ways for repairing and renewing the space. It alone is hugely intriguing, let alone her artwork that is also really strong.

This was outside the Stone Gallery that was closed.

Door to the cultural center and museum
Okay, it wasn't all heavy! First we headed up the Turquoise Trail (I didn't see one piece of turquoise on the ground and I was looking!) and found a great campground called the Turquoise Trail Campground - yes, very original. The reviews were mixed and one about a mean old lady had us wondering, but we figured we could be mean old ladies too, so the dice rolled to go for it. 

No mean old lady. No inadequate facilities. We liked it so much we stayed two nights instead of one, using it as a base for day trips to Madrid and Tinkertown. Madrid is a recovered ghost town that has either a gallery or arts store or restaurant along the main drag. It would be like if the road to the ferry dock was completely lined with shops. I like a cool shop or a gallery as much as the next person but truthfully, it was more tiring than interesting. Except for the lady who told us her parents moved them there in the early 70's, after graduating from the Chicago Institute of Art. They were in on the ground floor (she said, the only floor) in bringing the town back to life. 

We talked to her mother and she told us about some of the great clothing there, designed by her and painted on by her husband. That was a good shop. 

On the way to Madrid

The first shop we saw on the edge of town

Vehicles keep well in the dry weather

There was a lot of really excellent art, for sure, but after awhile overload set in. Strange but true.

These are some other sights on drives along the way to here and there.

So many adobe homes!

Oh. Okay.

This is a stop we made in Pecos. Not Pecos, Texas, but Pecos, New Mexico. Where there really isn't much of anything as far as a town goes, but a lot of history on the tribes.

Top view of a kiva

Which of course we climbed down into

There were also the remains of a church and its bloody history.

A cute trailer in the parking lot

Not open. There are a LOT of these places.
Moving on to the next campground, Rancheros de Santa Fe (picked as a good base to make day trips), we weren't as impressed, but there are showers and bathrooms and a laundry too. Deeply wooded means scrubby piƱon pines, in case you are thinking about coming here. The pine nuts aren't ready to eat yet. Bummer! But there are some very neat camping rigs here.

I missed the photo of when the back was open showing the kitchen of this teardrop.

Tiny home on wheels. No people around to cajole into a tour.
Bandilier was next. We actually thought we were going to White Rock, where it sounded like there was history to be found. But instead, we saw a sign for the Bandelier Monument Shuttle. We parked and really had no idea exactly where the shuttle went or why but we jumped on anyway. It was there. It was free. Sounded good to us. It was way better than good.

I took this through the telescope focused on one of the cliff dwellings with paintings.
If you look r e a l close, you can see them.

Then came the climbing. We'd bought hats and water because we had no idea we'd be out in the mid-day sun and heat. But I had on flip-flops, not real appropriate for any serious hiking, especially the part of the trail with 140 vertical stairs to the top of Frey trail. Damn it. Okay, it was a good excuse to not go there 'today'.

You could climb the ladder and look inside but not go inside.

Where the old vegas came out of the roofs.

A preserved rock painting

Just something cool along the way

In Santa Fe

A business of old architectural pieces

Tomasitas had been recommended. Well done!!!
I made it through about four more bites and it will be lunch today.
There is still Tinkertown and the Whoopie Bowl Antique mega place to go but I'm done for today. 

Continue on with a teemingly top-heavy Thursday. Do something tip-top.

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