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Northern New Mexico

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Northern New Mexico - Page Text Content

S: Northern New Mexico September 2010

FC: Northern New Mexico September 2010

1: Northern New Mexico September 2010 Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque

2: The Palace of the Governor's on the Santa Fe Plaza is the oldest public building in the United States. Dozens of Native American artists gather daily under the portal to sell jewelry, pottery, bread and other goods. | Sena Courtyard | Guadalupe Street Historic Railyard District

3: The Loretto Chapel - The chapel is known for the "Miraculous Staircase" that leads to the choir loft. Legend has it that the chapel was almost complete when it became obvious that there wasn't room to build a staircase to the choir loft. In answer to the prayers of the cathedral's nuns, a mysterious carpenter arrived on a donkey, built a 20-foot staircase - using only a square, a saw, and a tub of water to season the wood - and then disappeared as quickly as he came. Many of the faithful believed it was St. Joseph himself. The staircase contains two complete 360-degree turns with no central support; no nails were used in its construction. | The photograph is a simulation of how the staircase looked between 1877 & 1887 before the banisters were installed.

4: Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral

6: The San Jose Bell was cast in Spain in the year 1356. The bell weighs 780 pounds and averages 3.5 inches thick. It is composed of 600+ pounds of copper, brass and iron, 155 pounds of silver and 20 pounds of gold. In 1848 the bell was hoisted to the triple tier tower of the San Miguel Mission where it remained until a storm in the winter of 1872 caused the bell to shift and both tower and bell came tumbling down. | Milagros (Spanish for miracle or surprise) are religious folk charms that are traditionally used for healing purposes and as votive offerings in Mexico, the southern United States, and other areas of Latin America. They are frequently attached to altars, shrines, and sacred objects found in places of worship.

7: More than 800 years ago, Pueblo people built this structure out of "puddled" adobe (liquid mud poured between upright wooden frames). This house is said to be the oldest in the United States.

8: Santa Fe Art & Architecture

10: Santa Fe sunset from the 5th floor Bell Tower at the historic La Fonda Hotel

11: El Rancho de las Golondrinas ("Ranch of the Swallows") - Once a working ranch that was an important stop along the El Camino Real (the royal road that was the only line of transport between New Spain and the rest of the world in the 16th & 17th centuries), it’s now preserved as an example of Spanish Colonial life in New Mexico. Many of the buildings are original and others have been moved from other parts of Northern New Mexico and reassembled on site.

12: Old-fashioned school house where some do better in class than others | Morado de La Conquistadora - A morada is a meeting house/chapel for members of the secret brotherhood that helps the poor, the bereaved and other people in need. This old morada used by the Penitente brotherhood of northern New Mexico was moved to El Rancho de las Golondrinas Santa Fe from Abiquiu, New Mexico.

13: El Molino Grande de Sapello - The Big Mill

14: Driving past all the art galleries at the very end of Upper Canyon Road we stumbled upon the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. Starting at an elevation of 7500 feet the walking trails led us past the birds and wildlife inhabiting the piñon/juniper,and ponderosa pines.

16: White Rock Overlook with breathtaking views over the Rio Grande Valley | Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier National Monument - Seven centuries before the Declaration of Independence was signed, compact city-states existed in the Southwest. Remnants of one of the most impressive of them can be seen at Frijoles | Canyon in Bandelier National Monument. At the canyon's base, near a gurgling stream, are the remains of cave dwellings, ancient ceremonial kivas, and other stone structures that stretch out for more than a mile beneath the sheer walls of the canyon's tree-fringed rim.

18: Ruins of Anasazi (Navajo term for the ancestral Pueblo people) cave dwellings, petrogylyphs, ancient footpaths and a system of ladders dot the cliffs at Bandelier National Monument.

20: Alcove House, formerly known as Ceremonial Cave, sheltered the homes of several ancestral Pueblo families. Located 140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon the site is reached by 4 wooden ladders and a number of stone stairs. | At the front of the cave is a reconstructed kiva (underground room for religious activities, teaching and meetings) and the viga holes and niches of former homes.

21: Valles Caldera National Preserve - a series of green valleys, rimmed by the edges of a super volcano that collapsed into a huge bowl millions of years ago. Valle Grande overlook offers stunning vistas across the valley where herds of elk graze and eagles wing across the huge dome of the sky. | Beautiful cliffs near Los Alamos, NM

22: The Pueblo of Jemez is one of 19 New Mexico pueblos. It is a federally recognized tribe and sovereign nation with approximately 3,400 Tribal members. The beautiful red rock mesas on the Pueblo are not open to the general public, as we found out when we accidentally trespassed onto tribal grounds while trying to take a photograph.

23: Jemez Springs/Soda Dam - The geological wonder was created over thousands of years by travertine deposits - minerals that precipitate out of geothermal springs. With its strange mushroom-shaped exterior and caves split by a roaring waterfall, it's no wonder the spot was considered sacred by Native Americans. | Battleship Rock - a sheer cliff that rises suddenly above the Jemez river like the prow of a ship

24: After staying our first few nights in Old Town Santa Fe, we relocated to the Bishop's Lodge Ranch - a lovely resort in the colorful canyons and high desert of the Sangre de Christo mountains, just outside of Santa Fe. On the property is the quaint Bishop Lamy's Chapel, built in the mid-1800s and registered as a natural historic landmark,

25: Evening at the Bishop's Lodge

26: A sunset horseback ride in the high desert surrounding Bishop's Lodge

27: The Bishop's Lodge from the trail

28: Puye Cliff Dwellings - the ancestral home of the Santa Clara Pueblo people. The cultural significance of Puye was made even more memorable by our guide Porter. Porter is a Santa Clara Pueblo native who grew up exploring every inch of these cliffs and mesa top. His knowledge and explanations of life here for his people made our experience in this ""place between earth and sky" all the richer.

29: Puye Cliffs comprises two levels of cliff and cave dwellings, as well as dwellings on the mesa top. Some 740 rooms are carved out of the cliff, although foundations show that additional houses constructed from talus blocks lined the base of the cliff. The now visible caves were then just the back rooms of these homes. Along with the cave rooms, lines of post holes are carved into the cliff face. These would have supported roof beams (vigas) for the block house and may also be anchor points for wood ladders and walkways used to reach the cliff houses. | Our guide Porter explained that the black ceilings of these rooms are not a result of soot from fires, but in fact painted by the Pueblo people to represent the night sky above them. | On the many rocky faces of the walls of the cliff house, numerous petroglyphs, including animal forms, human figures, geometric designs can be found. | Shards of pottery and black obsidian used for arrowheads or tools lay everywhere.

30: Jimson Weed - a toxic plant used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of illnesses. | Our guide Porter picked up this small toad to show us. He spoke very softly in his native Tewa language to calm the creature. | The ladder to the mesa top

31: Representing early Pueblo architecture, dwellings on the mesa top were part of a single, multi-storied complex built around a large, central plaza. | Inside the Kiva - an underground structure for ceremonies and meetings, and where we were treated to Porter singing in his native Tewa language. | Porter, our fantastic guide, and us

32: We found out through other guests at our hotel that our guide Porter at Puye Cliffs has a mother by the name of Roxanne Swentzell, who is a famous sculptor. We visited her Tower Gallery to see her wonderful work. | "My Crucifix" | "Sharing" - This piece is Roxanne's grandchildren learning how to share with each other. She created this piece to help them remember that there are others in the world besides themselves. | "Kosha Eating Corn" - Roxanne says that "The kernals and his teeth are similar. One more simple way of reminding us that we are connected to all that is around us....including our food." | "My Heart Goes On" | "Good News" - This piece depicts "Something has come in the mail that is great. In this way we acknowledge even the simplest moments that really do make up our lives."

33: There isn't a restaurant in New Mexico without something on the menu made with Red or Green Chiles!

34: Abiquiu & Ghost Ranch - area made famous by Georgia O'Keefe who lived and painted here.

36: Casa Gallina - our very charming Bed & Breakfast Cottage in Taos | Our host, Richard left a delicious array of welcome snacks including fresh eggs for our breakfast

37: Fresh eggs from the "girls" each morning and a garden full of salad greens and vegetables for dinner

38: Sunrise Balloon Ride over the Rio Grande Gorge with the Pueblo Balloon Company

40: Once aloft, we had a bird's eye view of the Rio Grande River below and as we floated through the gorge we saw the shadow of the balloons (called a "ballooner eclipse") on the rim.

41: The edge of our basket from above, splashing down in the river! | Earth houses under construction | Getting out is harder than it looks! | Our Balloon pilot | Traditional Champagne toast | The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

42: Taos Pueblo - For nearly 1000 years the mud and straw adobe walls of the Taos Pueblo have sheltered Tiwa speaking Native Americans. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is the largest collection of multi-story pueblo dwellings in the United States. Built between 1000 and 1450 AD many of these dwellings are still in use today. | The pueblo Church of San Geronimo (above) was completed in 1850 to replace the one destroyed by the US Army in 1847 during the Mexican War (ruins pictured at left).

43: Red River Hatchery where fresh water trout are raised to stock waters in neighboring areas. | The Enchanted Circle - an 84-mile loop from Taos and back rings Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest mountain. A morning drive took us through alpine valleys, Taos Ski resort and the changing colors of the Carson National Forest.

44: Sunset Horseback Riding in Arroyo Seco

46: Rancho de Taos - San Francisco de Asis Church. This Spanish mission church has been the subject of paintings by Georgia O'Keefe and photographs by Ansel Adams.

47: San Jose de Gracia in Las Trampas on the Taos High Road. This 18th century mission church is one of New Mexico's best preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture.

48: El Santuario de Chimayó - This small, frontier, adobe church is built on the site where, believers say, a mysterious light came from the ground on Good Friday in 1810 and where a large wooden crucifix was found beneath the earth. The chapel sits above a sacred pozito (a small hole), the dirt from which is believed to have miraculous healing properties. Dozens of abandoned crutches and braces placed in the anteroom—along with many notes, letters, and photos—testify to this.

50: Rancho de Chimayó Hacienda and Restaurant and their Prickly Pear Margarita

51: Tinkertown Museum - This unusual attractiom contains a world of miniature carved-wood characters made by the museum's late founder who spent more than 40 years carving and collecting the hundreds of figures that populate this cheerfully bizarre museum, The walls surrounding the museum have been fashioned out of more than 50,000 glass bottles pressed into cement.

52: Sandia Peak Tramway - Tramway cars climb 2.7 miles up the steep western face of the Sandia Mountains, giving you a close-up view of red rocks and tall trees - it's the world's longest aerial tramway. From the observation deck at the 10,378-foot summit you can see Santa Fe to the northeast and Los Alamos to the northwest - about 11,000 square miles of spectacular scenery.

53: Albuquerque Art Museum - These sculpted figures are splendid! The most amazing ones were those of the conquistadors on their horses, padres and families, following their wagons along the Camino Real headed for a new life in the valley of the Rio Grande.

54: Petroglyph National Monument contains over 20,000 images pecked in stone - some recognizable as animals, people and crosses, others more mysterious. Petroglyphs represent a valuable record of cultural expression and human occupation in the Rio Grande valley. They have deep spiritual significance to modern Pueblo groups as well as other indigenous people such as the Navajo and the Apache. Archeologists estimate that most of the images were made 400 to 700 years old by the ancient ancestors of today's Native people. Some images may be 2000 to 3000 years old.

55: This elaborate historic rendition of a Christian Cross may have been made by a shepherd in the 1700s or 1800s and closely resembles a Latin cross done in the patriarchal style with two horizontals, both ending in crosslets. | The ancestral Pueblo people made petroglyphs by carefully removing the desert varnish with hand-held stone tools to expose the lighter color of the basalt's interior.

57: Statues at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, representing different native people from regions across the United States.

58: Native dancers and musicians at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque

59: Old Town Albuquerque

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Ria Waugh
  • By: Ria W.
  • Joined: over 11 years ago
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  • Title: Northern New Mexico
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  • Published: about 9 years ago