March 14, 2006 – Bandalier National Monument

Today was a most excellent day under sunny skies. We drove to Bandelier National Monument, but on the way stopped at the White Rock overlook, which is between Santa Fe and Los Alamos and overlooks the Rio Grande.

The park was lovely in the early morning – here’s Linda with a cup!

The building behind Linda and the courtyard you can’t see is one of the largest CCC building projects ever completed. Bandelier is home to many ruins dating back thousands of years.

This is a picture of the Tyuoni Pueblo which is very close, as are the other ruins in Bandelier to a small stream. You can still see the outlines of the rooms, which at one time had a roof and ladders going in the ceiling as an entrance.

These ruins are along the cliff – some rooms are carved out of the cliff and others were built up with adobe blocks. This is called the Long House as you can see the ruins stretch along the cliff to the distance.

I forgot my hat, so had to get a new one.

Linda is about to embark on the 140 foot ladder climb to a cliff dwelling. Our previous history at the Grand Canyon portend that this is an activity not to be taken lightly!

Just like a mountain goat, we scrambled up to the top.

The last half of the day was a wonderful hike down geologic time and through botanical biomes. The hike was 2 1/2 miles down the canyon to the Rio Grande. The hike started in Ponderosa Pine forest and went down through sage, oaks, and finally to a flood plain. The geology was equally spectacular!