13 June 2009
THE CAVE DWELLERS PART 2 [updated with video]
When I last left off I had driven north on NM 550 to NM 4. I had traveled through the Jemez Wilderness and across the only paved road in a volcanic caldera in the US.
Not far from Los Alamos is Bandelier National Monument -- ancient ruins of pueblo people who migrated from the four corners area.
Although they built pueblos they also lived in caves and alcoves in the cliff faces.
This is an awesome 2.5 hour drive from Albuquerque and not far from Santa Fe.
The area is both lush and green yet rocky. It is a great hike in the wilderness. Beware though as this IS the wild and the possibility of seeing black bears, elk, deer and mountain lions is very real. In fact on the way back to the visitors center a black bear was spotted and the forest rangers kept everyone at a distance.
Yes... this IS New Mexico. Not what you would expect, eh?
My destination was Alcove House. A cliff dwelling.
Again I mention, if you are afraid of heights or not in good health or do not hike regularly think very seriously about this part of the excursion.
For those of you that do make the climb the view is amazing, and to think people LIVED here.
What goes up must go down. Only now do you realize how high you have climbed.
What an amazing adventure this was. I will DEFINITELY be back in the autumn when the colors change and the light of northern New Mexico hits these amazing formations.
I decided to continue north to Santa Fe. Such a beautiful area.
...yeah... SNOW in June... gotta love New Mexico.
Until next time friends, I'm out.
Las Cruces, NM makes the worlds largest enchilada the first weekend in October at the Whole Enchilada Fiesta.