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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

The Best Hike-Hands Down

~Tuesday, November 10, 2020~

Day 149

Pfizer may have a vaccine that will be ready by April 2021 and the stock market is doing oh so good since Biden became President-elect. 2021 is looking to be a good year so far. Let’s keep things going.

Today was a visit to Bandelier National Monument in Sandoval County, New Mexico. It’s a very rugged, but beautiful canyon that dates back more than 10,000 years ago. The people who settled in Frijoles Canyon are known as the Ancestral Pueblo people. These people called this canyon home for over 400 years, likely due the permanent stream called Frijoles Creek and the canyon walls made of tuff. Tuff was formed by 2 large volcanic eruptions that occurred over 1 million years ago that threw enough rock, ash, pumice and tuff into the air that were hardened by superheated gases.

As a result, on one side of the canyon, it formed miles of 1,000 foot high walls that became well suited for these early inhabitants. We felt so lucky to be able to tour through these canyon walls, accessing them through ladders, or walkways.

At the end of our 2 mile walking journey through the canyon we decided to take another side trail to the Alcove House. Once we arrived at the base of the house, there were a series of 3 tall ladders that we had to climb up to get to the house. Whew! I definitely didn’t need all these layers of clothing. It’s amazing how much these people carved out of these canyon walls for dwellings or for celebrations. We could even stand up in one of them. Another impressive feature and the most significant in the park was the large pueblo called Tyuonyi. One to two stories, Tyuonyi contained about four hundred rooms and housed approximately 100 people. We saw 3 kivas (one of the 3 was excavated to demonstrate how the interiors once looked). As we took walkways up the side of the canyon walls, we could really see the pueblo clearly, and imagine what was once a thriving community.

We also drove by another interesting, unexpected landmark where they developed and created the atomic bomb (code name Manhattan Project)….Los Alomas. I guess if you were going to be secretive, it was the perfect isolated location, but I felt a little uneasy knowing that we were somewhere that produced something so destructive.

When we got back, I wanted to take advantage of being in a fairly big city like Santa Fe, to purchase a few holiday decorations before inventory slims down. And it was a success! Since this will be a first for us not having a home for the holidays, it was important to us to have a few trinkets to make it feel festive.

Tomorrow night is the CMA awards, COVID style. So glad we’re not boondocking right now. Country strong!!

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