Road Trip – New Mexico

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Just got back from a road trip to New Mexico.  We saw lots of old and new.  The shops along Canyon Road in Santa Fe are fun to walk around with great conversation fodor, and potential new project ideas for us at home.

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Of course the eats are always terrific with great New Mexican green chile and green chile cheeseburgers like the one at The Shed.

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We visited Red River for the first time.  At 8600′ the weather was still cool if not a bit chilly.

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We stayed at the Junebug Campground and loved the babbling brook behind our camp.

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Outside of Las Vegas, NM we visited the Dwan Light Sanctuary on the United World College  campus for the first time.

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The Light Sanctuary was conceptualized by Virginia Dwan (funder), Charles Ross (solar spectrum artist) and Laban Wingert (planner – architect) and opened in 1996.  It is intended as a place of peace and spiritual refuge.  We found the play on the light through the many prisms cast onto the walls of this circular building 36′ in diameter by 23′ high, to be fascinating.

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Following our brief visit at the Sanctuary we did an overnight at the newly re-opened  Harvey house, Castaneda Hotel, in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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Th Castaneda was originally opened by Fred Harvey in 1898 in the heyday of railroad hotel hospitality.  The hotel has been closed since 1948 and only just re-opened in April 2019.  It was refurbished by the same folks that re-opened the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ, not far from our own home.  They did a fabulous job keeping true to the heritage, architecture, and furnishings of the period.  It was an enjoyable step into the past.

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From there we stepped even further into the past when we briefly visited Chaco Canyon near the border of NM / AZ.

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Chaco Canyon is quite the impressive complex of ruins built by the Puebloan culture over a period of 300 years between 800 AD and 1100 AD.

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The vast community spreads over miles with multiple story buildings, whole civilizations, ceremonial grounds, and shrines.

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To see the architecture, windows, doors, rooms, walls, and vastness from a culture so long ago was truly awe inspiring.

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Photos cannot do it justice.

Unfortunately, by late May it was already terribly hot (86F), and with Journey not allowed on the trails, we were unable to stay long.  If you find yourself in the area (and it is a long way off the beaten path), it is certainly worth a visit.

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From there we overnighted at Navajo National Monument.

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Which, at it’s higher elevation was cooler for Journey.

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Our campsite offered terrific views of the canyons at sunset and sunrise.

It was a quick tour of a lot of fascinating historical sites… but made for a great get away.  Next time, we’ll have to go earlier in the year (or later) when it is cooler and more comfortable for a pet not allowed on National Park trails.

We missed you Dave….

 

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Late May Snow

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If you are from AZ, you no doubt heard about our late May snow.  Just as we were preparing our gardens for the Spring / Summer season, we got predictions of 5″ of snow.  This is the West coast, not the East coast, we’re not supposed to get these late snow storms… nonetheless, here it is.

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While we didn’t get 5″, we did get 2 separate snow storms over several days that amounted to maybe 2″.  It was unexpected, but always welcome and provided us a blanket of white on the ground and over the trees.

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No matter.  We’ll take what we can get.

Snow storm over… 70F today here on the mountain.  Go figure.

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Blue Ridge

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Crazy!  Last year I wrote about Blue Ridge Reservoid  (https://kritterspaw.com/2018/08/14/blue-ridge-reservoid/), as it had no water in the Blue Ridge Reservoir.

With all the snow we had this year… it’s now overflowing.

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Fallen logs litter the waterway from all the downed trees, and the water rises above the boat ramp.

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I look forward to the spring flowers, lunch outings, and camping amongst her many tall pines, soaring eagles, and nesting blue heron.  Nature does work in mysterious ways.

Bob

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Sometimes, even when you’re not looking, you encounter the unexpected.

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Such was the case when we stumbled across this scrawny bobcat wandering through the woods after a morning snowstorm, looking for supper.

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He reminded me of a friend who recently lost her beloved cat, Lucky.  He was curious, intent, and full of life.

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I watched him hunt through the lens of my camera edging up to him ever so cautiously, trying to get as close as I dared.  He was much more interested in catching supper, than he was in me.

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I hope he finds peace, tranquility, and a fabulous supper.

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The calm before the storm

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Now that our snow is all melted, and soaking into our forest… it’s time for some more.  We are forecast to get snow for the next 3 days.   Never knowing quite what to expect, irregardless of the forecasts, we prepare ourselves for what might come.

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While some might stock up on groceries, gasoline for vehicles or generators, or perhaps ready the snowplows…. we see it as an opportunity to see if we can catch some animals in transit.

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Animals can sense when a storm is afoot better than any Harvard grad.  They tend to move around during a storm… so we set out to see if we could catch some animals.

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Unfortunately, it was pretty slim pickin’s out there.  But it made for a fun morning outing nonetheless.  Bring on the snow.

Snow Elk

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We got quite the winter storm this week…. and I don’t know what it is, but storms always seem to bring the animals.

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Of course, we are always delighted to see them.  I always tell them… ‘I’ll make you famous’… if only they knew!

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These poor little guys were hunkered down looking for warmth and food.

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Even the dry twigs seemed like tasty food for these guys who were rummaging through the snow looking for something to eat.

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Of course, kids will be kids, and all they cared about was playing in the snow!  Typical! : )

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You can check out more snow pix here…  https://kritterspaw.com/2019/02/23/snow/