Tag Archives: ABC blogging

New Mexico Bucket List – H ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet H image

I feel like I have been inundating you with posts the last couple of days and I apologize for that. I have gotten behind on a couple of things since I took several days off last week to attend the Teach Them Diligently convention last weekend here in town. It was a lovely few days with wonderful speakers and a great vendor hall to explore. The girls even had a good time. I’ll share more soon but for now, on to the ABC Blogging and the letter H.

Hubbard Museum of the American West

This is a museum that is found in Ruidoso. It is a fabulous museum with lots of artifacts and examples of the things of the American west. There are five different parts to the museum – the outdoor sculpture “Free Spirits at Noisy Waters”, Images of the West, From Here to There, Anne Stradling Family Collection, and Carousel Horses.

One of my favorite parts is the outside statues titled “Free Spirits at Noisy Waters.” This is an exhibit that feature 8 horses that are 1 1/2 times normal size. They are large and lovely. You can get right up close to them and it is just lovely to wander through all of them. There are several horse breeds represented in the sculpture – Standardbred, Morgan, Arabian, Paint (mare and foal), Appaloosa, Quarter Horse, and Thoroughbred.

Inside you find the rest of the exhibits. From Here to There features modes of transportation in the American West, from different carriages to a chuck wagon to a hearse and more. There are over 20 examples. There is also a collection of saddles. Images of the West looks at how the west has been romanticized and includes lithographs, paintings, prints, bronzes, carvings, and kachinas from the Museum’s collections. The Anne Stradling Family Collection has various items that she collected over the years, with the dream of founding a Museum of the Horse. When she became ill, she offered the colletion to the Hubbards and the museum of her dreams came about. This collection is what she found and kept through her life from the age of six. There are three beautiful carousel horses on display at the museum, also.

This is a lovely museum to visit and has a collection like none other I have ever seen. It is a visit I definitely recommend if you find yourself in south central NM.

Hatch Chile

Hatch is THE place to get your chile from. There is nothing like it for taste and flavor. You might get some heat, too.

The chile that comes from Hatch just tastes better. Even here in central TX, I watch for the signs at our local HEB to see when their Hatch chile is coming in. Getting a bunch of it fresh roasted and packing it up for the freezer is something I try to do each year if I can. It is just the taste of NM.

Honestly, I haven’t visited Hatch during chile season but it would be such an enjoyable thing to do. One of these days . . . Until then, you can order Hatch chile online if you can’t find it locally. And it is totally worth it!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

 

New Mexico Bucket List – G ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

This week we are on letter G for our trip through New Mexico.

Blogging Through The Alphabet G vertical image

We are going to start in the far southwestern corner of the state with the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Quick pronunciation tip – the G is more of an H sound for Gila (Hee-luh).

The Gila Cliff Dwellings are located about 45 miles from Silver City on a twisty-turny road that they recommend allowing up to 2 hours to drive. This area was home to the Tularosa Mogollon people in about 1200 AD. They created their homes out of natural cliff dwellings. They also used natural stone to build their homes in the cliffs, to create rooms. There is evidence of about 40 rooms in the dwellings. The one mile loop trail will take you through natural environments, to the naturally eroded cave areas, and to rooms that you can enter to see the original timber lintels and support beams intact.

The Mogollon peoples of the Gila were farmers, tilling the land to grow squash, corn, and beans. They hunted game and wove the natural materials into items to trade with other communities and cultures. They grew and cultivated cotton, weaving it into cloth. They were also skilled potters, with evidence of their black-on-white designed and brown bowls with black interiors found in many places.

This is a national monument and is run by the National Park Service. It is located in the first designated wilderness, the Gila Wilderness. There is also the Gila National Forest surrounding the area so there are lots of opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Ghost Ranch is currently a national education and retreat center owned by the Presbyterian church. It has had many other lives, though, also. Being in the desert southwest, there were native peoples that inhabited this land long ago. The Navajo were some of those but were eventually run off by the Spanish who settled the area. It was bought in the 1930s by Arthur Pack, one of the nation’s first environmentalists. It was during his ownership that Georgia O’Keeffe first came to Ghost Ranch, which gets its name from a rumor spread that the land was haunted by evil spirits.

Pack opened Ghost Ranch as a dude ranch, where folks could come and stay. It served as respite for a wide variety of people, from nuclear scientists to artists such as Ansel Adams to Hollywood stars such as John Wayne to world record holders such as Charles Lindbergh. When O’Keeffe visited, she fell in love with it. She eventually convinced Pack to sell her a small part of the ranch and she lived there as often as she could.

The terrain is different than you might expect being a high desert. But then, maybe not. It is stark and beautiful and is widely praised by artists for the kind of light the area produces.

And last but not least, the Giant Pistachio.

This is a fun, side of the road stop close to Alamogordo. The area has several pistachio farms and one of them has placed this giant pistachio in their parking lot to grab attention. It does so! And every time I see it come up in my mom’s Facebook page, I know she is getting gifts for someone!

G Giant Pistachio 2

photo credit Lee Ann Longbotham

The 30 foot pistachio marks one of two country style stores run by the McGinn family. They also have tours of their pistachio farm and winery. The tours run about 30 minutes in length, according to the website. Definitely pick up some of the flavored nuts. We have some red and green chili pistachios sitting on the counter right now!

Everyone loves a stop for something weird and wonderful. I think the Giant Pistachio qualifies.

Have fun exploring New Mexico!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – F ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet F vertical imageOh y’all – I’m getting homesick. I am loving sharing all these wonderful places but missing my home state. Especially today since this first place I am sharing with you is just down the road from my home and we know the wonderful folks who run it, even if I haven’t seen them in a few years.

Flying J Ranch

This is a full-on cowboy experience. This is a dinner theater sort of place, only with an outdoor setting and cowboy attire, activities, and food. James and Cindy Hobbs and their crew create an atmosphere of fun. There are several activities for the whole family prior to dinner time so don’t wait until the supper bell is rung to arrive.

The kids can attend Deputy Training School and learn about capturing villainous gunfighters. They can visit the gold mining area and pan for gold. There is a teepee with a display about the Mescalero tribe, which is just over the mountain. The kids can even try their hands at roping. There are also a couple of addition cost activities such as a pony ride and a pistol shoot. The whole family will enjoy the fiddle show. There are plenty of activities, events, and shops to visit.

Then, it will be time to gather on main street to see the gunfight. Every evening, Bonita City is the scene of a gunfight that is intended to be a fun experience for the whole family. The website says “These outlaws have been known to cause chaos in Bonita City with their poor aim and attempts at humor.”

Following the gunfight, the crowd will enter the Old Barn Opera House for a good ‘ol chuckwagon dinner. Biscuits, beef, beans, and something sweet will be on the menu with plenty to fill up on. Just reading about it makes my mouth water. You do not want to leave early! After dinner, the award winning performers will put on a musical show that will round the evening off nicely. Just read about these fabulous wranglers and you will want to go hear their performance.

I am going to have to take the girls soon. Hopefully, we can make it home while they are in operation this year. Since it is in the mountains, they are not year round so check the website to find out their schedule. And then head over for some good entertainment and eating.

O Smokey song

Forest Fire Prevention

“Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear, Howlin’ and a growlin’ and a sniffin’ the air; He can find a fire before it starts to flame; That’s why they call him Smokey that is how he got his name.”

My girls have been singing this since they were little and no wonder – Smokey is known around the nation as the symbol for forest fire prevention. He was found in the burned mountains surrounding the little village of Capitan after a large fire in 1950. He was burned, as well. The firefighters picked up the little cub and took him with them to be treated. He was cared for a treated. He made national news and eventually was flown to Washington, DC, to be a national symbol for forest fire prevention. He remained there until his death in 1976 when he was returned to Capitan to be buried.

Smokey Bear (“the” is not really part of his name) is a hometown favorite. I grew up with Smokey being just a normal part of life – the park down the way, the Forest Service having Smokey pictures everywhere, doing coloring contests each year, the Smokey Bear Stampede, and much more. Smokey has always stood for being careful in the woods and not causing a fire to break out.

While the cub Smokey was found in 1950, the symbol of Smokey was actually around before that. There was much fear in WWII that the enemies would cause fires that would damage property and endanger lives. This began when a Japanese submarine surface close to the California coast and fired shells at the coast. With all the men away, there would be few able to fight a raging fire. So, the campaign was designed to encourage care to prevent fires. Smokey came into being shortly into this campaign.

Visit the website to get more information on Smokey and to find many educational ideas and activities.

Smokey has graced many posters and signs encouring all of us to be careful. After all,

Only YOU can prevent forest fires.

O praying Smokey

Four Corners Monument

If you know much about geography, then you should know that the northwestern corner of New Mexico is one of the Four Corners. This is where four states meet. You can simultaneously touch New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. It is marked and can be visited.

The monument stands at about 5,000 feet above sea level. When you visit, you will find an engraved granite disk embedded in concrete with the state boundaries marked.

My research shows that there is a cost to visit the marker, as it is part of the Navajo Nation lands.

I am officially missing The Land of Enchantment now but I hope you have enjoyed the post and will have opportunity to visit one of the places on the New Mexico Bucket List soon.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Blogging Through The Alphabet F big

Join the party by clicking the link below.

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – E ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet E big

When we visit Albuquerque, NM, we love to go to Explora! This is a hands-on science museum for children that is also awesome for adults. There are tons of things to do and you can easily spend all day long exploring the options and activities.

Explora 4

The water section is one that always draws the girls. Figuring out how locks work, how air in water pipes affects water flow, what water falls do, and discovering how quickly different pipes and buckets fill when water is directed different ways are just a few of the water activities. There is also a giant bubble area that we tend to spend quite a bit of time at.

Another section has brain teaser puzzles and logic challenges. These are often pictures or wooden puzzles to work with. The last time we were there, they had added an electronic puzzle or two.

Explora 2

There is an electrical area where the kids can work with circuitry. Magnetic circuits, wired one way circuits, and more are set ups that the kids can use and change and figure out. This is one place where Miss E spent a lot of time on our last visit.

Explora

Ever ridden a bicycle high above the ground on a single wire? You can do that at Explora! They have a bicycle that can be ridden. They hook you up so that you have no way of falling and the everything is super safe. It is still a strange sensation to be riding high above the people exploring the areas a story below you. Very neat, though.

One of the favorite places of the girls is the sand table. It is set up with a light feature that shows the elevation changes. So, as you are playing and scooping the sand from one place to another, the marks change to show the changes in height. Just like on a topographical map, lines close together show sharper inclines and father apart show more gradual changes. The girls will play at this particular table until we tell we have to leave.

And spinning illusions are fun, too!

There are plenty of other exploration areas at Explora! These are just a few highlights on our tour of New Mexico.

Enchanted Circle is a group of communities in the mountains of northern New Mexico. They are connected by a beautiful drive through the forests. This circle is about 85 miles and takes around 3 hour without stops in the lovely communities. It circles the state’s highest peak – Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet. The communities of Taos, Eagle Nest, Red River, Angel Fire, Taos Ski Valley, and Questa are all a part of the circle.

Each of the communities has something special to stop for. From a visit to the DH Lawrence Memorial to a fish hatchery, from a Vietnam Veterans memorial to hiking or skiing, there is something for everyone on this circle. Taos is well known for both the native culture and the artist culture. The ski areas often have their lifts open in the summer to be able to visit the highest parts of the mountain and hike down (or ride the lift down, too). Go skiing in winter. Find festivals and activities throughout the year to take time for during your visit. You can plan to make the trip in a single day or take several and really explore the area.

E point rock of El Morro

photo credit NPS

El Morro National Monument can be found in the northwest quadrant of the state, closing in on the Arizona state line. El Morro is a place where travelers have stopped for hundreds of year. It was a reliable water spot so people have left their marks here in the sandstone of the area. There are over 2,000 inscriptions, petroglyps, and carvings to be found. There are hiking trails to be explored that take you to see the pool, which holds water year round, or up to the top of the mesa and the pueblo site that has been partially excavated and reconstructed.

El Morro was an ancestral puebloan home, as is evidenced by the ruins found on the top of the sandstone cliffs. There was a large pueblo that contained well over 800 rooms and housed between 1,000 and 1,500 people. They farmed on the plains surrounding the mesa, growing corn and beans with irrigated fields.

E Kiva at El Morro

photo credit NPS

The Spaniards also used this oasis during their times of exploration and settlement. After the Spaniards were pushed out of the area by the native peoples, the settlers from America began to come into the area. Many used this as a stop in their westward caravans. Year round, El Morro National Monument is beautiful and has vistas worth seeing.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Join the party by clicking the link below.

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – D ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet D vertical image

I have two wildly different options for you today – desert petroglyphs and duck races. Something old and something new. Your choice. Or maybe you’d like to do both. Isn’t it fun to have choices?

Desert Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs are rock art. This is created by carving the rock face to reveal the lighter colored rock below the surface. This chipping away creates the images that we can see today. Petroglyphs are different than pictographs. Pictographs are created by painting the surface rather than the chipping and carving that is used to create the petroglyphs.

There are actually a few places in the New Mexico deserts where you can find petroglyphs. Three Rivers is the first place that comes to mind for me because it is not too far from my childhood home. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers date back to between 900 and 1400 AD. They were created by Jornada Mogollon peoples. There are over 21,000 glyphs scattered around the area, which is about 50 acres. There are trails that allow you close access to the petroglyphs and also take you to a partially excavated village site. Three Rivers is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. This site is located in the south-central part of New Mexico, between Carrizozo and Tularosa/Alamogordo.

Petroglyph National Monument is another site in New Mexico where you can see rock art carved by Native Americans and Spanish settlers to the area 400 to 700 years ago. This monument protects one of the largest petroglyph areas in North America. You can find information on the pstroglyphs at the visitor center and then hike through different trails to get to the glyphs. There are an estimated 25,000 petroglyphs in the monument’s boundaries. It is believed that 90% of these were created by Puebloan peoples. This monument is located very near Albuquerque.

Duck Races

Yes, you read that right – duck races. The city of Deming, NM, holds an annual festival for the Great American Duck Race. Each year the festival bring ducks together to race on both wet and dry tracks. Check out this short video I found.

The Great American Duck Race runs for one weekend each August, Friday through Sunday. It seems to bring out the whole community. Many people wrangle their ducks for about six months prior to the race, from the time they are ducklings. From a parade to hot air balloons to craft vendors and entertainment, this is a weekend highlighted by the swimming and running ducks.

D Duck Race image

I am sure there are plenty of other things in New Mexico for the letter D but these are ones that I think are fun, interesting, and unique. Enjoy.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Blogging Through The Alphabet D big

Join in the link party by clicking the link below.

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – C ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet C image

Challenging is not even how to describe this letter! I have too many things to share so I either share them all without giving all the good details or I skip a place or two. What to do . . . what to do . . .

Okay – I’m sharing them all!

Carlsbad vacation 2013

Carlsbad Caverns is where I will start since I have a long memory of the caverns and all of the memories are good ones. Also, I have shared a couple of different times here on the blog about the caverns so I’ll link those and not be too wordy about it. But, I do want to share what a wonderful place the caverns are to visit. Even if you can’t do the whole walking tour, if you can only visit the Big Room, it is worth the stop. The caverns are amazing. God’s work on the formations through the drips and drops of water are stunning. I enjoy looking back on the pictures we have taken and remembering the awe in the girls’ voices. Even remembering back to when I was little and I can remember the amazement of the caverns.Carlsbad vacation 2013

The caverns are amazing to visit. The size will cause big eyes and amazed voices in almost anyone. The long trail from the natural mouth of the caverns down into the dark and through it all truly is a tough hike. It is all paved but there are narrow areas, it is dark, and some are wet so they could end up slick. But the lighting they have added is stunning and truly highlights the amazing limestone features of the caverns.

Stick around until dusk and watch the bats come out, if it is at all possible. If you are just going to go for the bats and not do the cavern, there is no cost except the gas to drive out to the site. Listening to the wings and sounds of millions of bats swooping out and circling above – there is just nothing like it. This is one of my all-time favorite places. I would go every year if I could.Carlsbad vacation 2013

We took the girls at the beginning of our homeschool jouney and then again about a year and a half ago. Both good visits!

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos is another fun thing to do in Carlsbad, though this one is on the Pecos River through town and not off at the edge of town like the caverns. Each holiday season, a large number of the homes and places visible from the river decorate with lights. All sorts of fun scenes and sights can be seen. There is a boat launch site and large boats that seat bunches of people line up and take folks up and down the river for a few hours after dark to see the lights.

With over 100 homeowners and corporate sponsors, the light show is spectacular. Gliding along the darkened river and seeing all the sparkling, twinkling Christmas lights is such a joy. When we went, the girls were still fairly young and I can still picture the wonder and joy on their faces. One sight in particular caused one of the girls to squeal “Look at the penguins!” She loved seeing them in lights, sliding down a slide on an igloo (I think!).

This is a nationally known set of holiday lights so if you have the opportunity, definitely go see them. They are so much fun.

Cloudcroft is a small mountain town not too far from where I grew up. It was originally founded as an excursion town with a railroad up the mountain to it from the desert valley below and Alamogordo. It brought goods down the mountain (think logging) from the forests above and brought people up to the cooler weather. A few stayed on and thus the town was born.

Cloudcroft is still an excursion town, though people drive to it now. There are plenty of activities. In the summer, it is still a great place to get away from the heat. You can also find golf, hiking, camping, and more. In the winter, there is hunting, skiing and snow-mobiles. Year-round there is shopping and plenty of artists to visit and restaurants to enjoy.

Accommodations available in the area include The Lodge, a beautiful old historical place. With unique furnishings and a beautiful setting, this is a lovely place to visit.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any pictures of either Cloudcroft or the Cumbres & Toltec that I have the rights to share. Visit their sites to see more about those places.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway is another of those long memories that I have. I remember visiting this narrow gauge railway when I was much younger with my family, my grandparents, and my great-grandma. (To be fair, I could be remembering people telling me about visiting because it has been so long since I have gone!) This rail trip runs through the mountains of northern New Mexico. The NM base for this railway is in Chama, NM. It runs up to Antonito, CO. You can ride one way and take a bus back or take a bus up and ride the train back. Sorry – not a bus but a luxury motor coach. 🙂

This is definitely a “bucket list” item as the cost is not cheap. But, oh, I so want to take the girls! The railway was part of the silver mining industry in the late 1800s. When that slowed, there just wasn’t enough business to convert the rails to the larger size so it was slow going for a while. After WWII, there was a small natural gas boom that brought some business and then, well, it was time to disassemble the rails.

Luckily a group of local folks fought to keep some of the rails intact through the most scenic parts of the area. Thus, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway came about in the 1970s. It is a beautiful trip through the lovely Rocky Mountains, back and forth over the border of NM and CO. What a lovely way to spend a day!

So, there you have them – 4 different place to tackle for the letter C in New Mexico. The richness of the state continues to amaze me!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click on the link below to join the party!

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

abcblogging image lg

You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

New Mexico Bucket List – B ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet B image

Today, I have two places for your consideration when creating a Bucket List of things to do and see in New Mexico. Both are amazingly beautiful and completely different from each other – Bandelier and Bosque del Apache. One is an historical park of the ancient cliff dwellers places and their ceremonial places. The other is a nature preserve that is on a major flyway for beautiful birds. Both are worth the visit.

Bandelier National Monument 

Bandelier is a beautiful canyon set into the high mountains of northern New Mexico. Santa Fe is a good place to stay for your visit to Bandelier, as there is not much in the immediate vicinity of the park. Throughout a large part of the year, entry into the park is by a park bus accessible from the visitor’s center. This center is located at White Rock, which is basically the top of Frijoles Canyon where the park is.

community summer dwelling

Bandelier has a long history, dating back to the ancient Puebloan cliff dwelling people. These peoples worked hard to live here and were here for about 400 years, from about 1100 AD -1450 AD. They created homes, many of which can still be seen and accessed. These homes were dug into the volcanic tuff, a soft but strong rock substance that is found as the canyon walls. They farmed and grew large agricultural plots on the tops of the cliffs, along the Pajarito Plateau. Corn, beans, and squash were central to their diet. They also used many native plants, including the cacti. Animals were killed for their meat and skins and the people had domesticated turkeys that were used for meat and for their feathers.

one of the cave dwellings

The thing that makes Bandelier special is that the trails take you through their dwellings. You walk through the major summer community that is estimated to have had about 400 rooms built around a central area. You walk up and down the rough paths to ladders that allow you to go up into storage rooms, dwelling areas, and other places carved out of the cliff face. There are lots of these cave-type openings to climb into. Inside, we can see writings and drawings, soot patterns, and even insects. Not many archeological sites are open like this. It is a special place to visit.

There is one site within the park that is above all else. Literally. Alcove House is built halfway up the cliff face and is accessible only by steep ladders. At over 140 feet above the canyon floor, Alcove House looks out across the valley and has a stunning view. It is estimated that a group of about 25 probably lived in this dwelling. There are viga holes (large supporting roof timbers) and a kiva all the way up here.

Alcove House ladder

Whether or not you are up for the climb, if you can make it on the trail to be able to view Alcove House, it is worth it. It is an additional mile or so on the trail to get to the view of Alcove House but I always enjoy thinking about seeing the opening in the cliff, high above everything else.

I am sure there is a ton more I could write about Bandelier. It is worth the visit. Check out our visit from a couple of summers ago.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Situated on the Rio Grande River, the Bosque del Apache is a wildlife refuge run by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There are over 50,000 acres for the wildlife and the area is a major migration stop and winter ground for a variety of species. Ducks, geese, and cranes are often spotted here.

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Throughout the year, there are beautiful animals and sights to see on the Bosque. There is a page on their site that lets you know about which birds you are likely to see at what time of year, as well as what other animals you might encounter in the wildlife refuge.

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These photos were taken back in November. You will find plenty of beautiful photos and videos on the Facebook page for Bosque del Apache. And no matter when you visit, you will find plenty of wildlife showing off the beauty God gave each of them.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click the following link to join the linkup party and to see others who have linked up to this ABC series.

Letter B Linkup – Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

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