Back in September I was planning to post some pictures and a bit about our trip to New Mexico. Boring, I know, but some news story happened that bumped it.
So, instead I will bore you today.
We visited Bandelier National Monument which is a mostly natural area whose cliffs and canyons were formed long long ago by volcanic ash.
We didn't know it, but when we drove up we learned that the park was having their grand reopening and admission was free that day. Dignitaries included several governors of nearby Pueblos and staff members from Senator's offices that were involved in the planning of the upgrade to the Visitor Center and other areas.
Local Native Americans performed. These are the drummers that supplied the rhythm for the dancers.
And these are the dancers.
While hiking along the main loop trail we came across this deer that didn't seem to mind us at all.
The high elevation wildflowers were beautiful.
The Ancestral Pueblo dwellings were carved in the mountainside. This house was accessible by ladder after climbing a trail leading up the cliff. Some of the houses had petroglyphs carved on the inside walls.
There were several artists with their work on display and for sale. This young woman makes these figures from the root wood of cottonwood and other types of trees.
This bird watched us eat lunch.
This was my second trip to Bandelier, but I hope it won't be my last. There is a lot more to see, and there are other seasons of the year to visit. This trip was in the summer. I've gone in the fall, when there was snow in the higher elevations, but I would like to be in Bandelier when snow is falling. And again in the spring when the springtime flowers are blooming.
I like to imagine I'm one of the Ancestral men, oh, about 19 years old, 10,000 years ago, wandering through the woods and climbing the cliffs and ladders. Finding a private place down the stream in the woods or among the cliffs, with my male friend from the Pueblo. No Christian mis-interpretation or hateful politicians, just two early Native persons doing what is natural for them.