Monday, March 24, 2008
In the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque- This is the view from the top of those spiral stairs in my last blog, down to the path below. Under the stairs was nothing. My sister, in the stairs photo, had to close her eyes to climb up and down. She was very brave to offer to go back up the stairs for the photo.
This is a Navajo artist (left) with my son, who painted a wonderful painting of five Kokopellis on a piece of limestone. It's just gorgeous, and Matt bought it for an amazing $25. This was taken at White House ruins in Canyon De Chelly.
The "two owls" near First Ruins in Canyon De Chelly.
Me, on a rock, at Antelope House, Canyon De Muerte. You can just barely see the antelope paintings over my head.
At the bottom, where the canyons meet. (De Chelly and Muerte) This is close to where we got stuck in our 4-wheeler. Another tour pulled us out.
All in all, our vacation was wonderful. The train ride down was a bit noisy, with kids out on spring break, but there was a room on the first level of the train that for some reason had all the seats removed, so the kids used it as a playroom, and us non-parents enjoyed them playing elsewhere. We saw a heard of elk and antelope, and a huge fllock of wild turkeys. I was on the lookout for a roadrunner, but I never saw one, even when we were told "Ohm they are all over the place." Right. All over except where I was. We walked along a canal my nephew likes to fish in and saw gunea fowl and quail, loads of ravens, and heard some red-winged blackbirds.
In the morning we hiked up to the 10,000 year old burial cave, and then went to santa FE for lunch and serious jewelry shopping. Serious as in from the Navajo, on blankets, around the town square. I got DH two decorated guitar picks, one from a guy who claimed he made them for Steve Miller. I beleive him. If he would have said Bruce Springsteen, I might not have, but Steve Miller is beleivable. I got several pairs of earrings, and Matt got two sand paintings. He's started collecting tiles, and these go very nicely. Below is a photo of his two sand paintings and the Kokopelli rock from the artist above.
At Canyon De Chelly we stayed at Thunderbird Lodge, which was once an old trading post. The rooms were nice, but the bathrooms were NOISY! Just flushing could be heard from both sides, and if someone was in the shower, you had to close the door or it could easily wake someone up, like me, who was exhasuted from all the hiking and spending.
We played rummy that night, and I lost miserably. Must have been the altitude. Yeah, that's the reason.
The 4-wheel tour of the canyons was a bit expensive, $200 for the six of us, but it was totally worth it. There were other tours, but this one got us all in one car, with no strangers. Our guide was excellent, even getting stuck didn't bother him. Without a guide, you can't go into the canyons, and without going into them, you can't see anything. The second day there we drove around the top rim and got photos looking down. We stopped at the Hubble Traing Post on the way home, and, of course, did some more shopping. (There was shopping IN the canyons too, where there were more Navajo selling jewelry and art.) I saw the most beautiful pot, all hand carved, and I just didn't have the money to get it, and I would have had to carry it home on the train. But I'll probably always wish I had bought it.
We were trying to get to Acoma Pueblo on the way home, but it was just too far of a drive to make it before it closed. Well, that's for next time. We managed a short trip to Old Town Albuquerque before we jumped on the train for home. My nephew loves trains, so he got to come aboard and look around. Still more shopping from, you guessed it, Navajos at the train station. All in all, I got 7 pairs of earrings, two pairs of socks, three T-shirts, several magnets, bookmarks, a pen and a keychain for me, and some gifts for family and friends.
The next great adventure? A trip to Buffalo, NY by train with my good friend, and hopefully a large meetup with the BOs.
Today? Back to work, slogging thru emails, realizing I only have two weeks to write a 10 page paper draft on cap-and-trade carbon credits, and several pages of revisions I promised to do on the watershed plan by wednesday. Oh yeah. Back to the grind.