Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mom's Visit: Days 7 & 8

 My mom is really into archaeological stuff, so on Friday we headed up north to Bandelier National Monument, and I hadn't been there yet myself. The monument preserves the ruins from ancient Pueblo dwellings that were build into the volcanic rock cliffs. The rocks in this area are made of welded volcanic ash, and over time this rock weathers into a weird Swiss cheese pattern. The ancient Pueblos enlarged these natural holes as part of their homes.

On the drive up. You can see the fire line from the Las Conchas fire near this farm.

Checking out a kiva. This structure would have had a ceiling on it originally.

Ruins from dwellings at the base of the cliff. You can see the "Swiss cheese" texture of the ash on the cliff.

Close up of the cliff rocks, and some cute cacti.

Mom and me in a cliff dwelling.

Over the summer the area was damaged because of flooding, so some trails were closed. The main loop was open, however, and we got to climb up into a few of the ruins.The Las Conchas fire up near Los Alamos resulted in a lot of forested area being destroyed, including part of the monument. With the trees gone, runoff from the few storms we did get resulted in flash flooding that damaged trails and some of the ruins. We also weren't able to drive into the monument ourselves, half of the parking was unavailable and we were bussed in. During the flooding, the monument had to destroy the bridges that went to one of the parking lots, they were trying to avoid log dams from debris collecting on the bridges. Still, I think we saw a lot and it was an excellent trip. It turned out to be a good day, it was a little overcast with partial sun, and it wasn't too hot. I hate nothing more than traipsing around in the heat. It had been a weird week for weather, it was more like the North East than the Southwest.

Saturday was a day to unwind from all the excitement of the past 7 days. We had a special lunch at La Crepe Michel, which is a cute French cafe in Old Town. We had delicious savory crepes for our meal, and then Matt and I got sweet crepes for desert. My mom got an apple tart that also looked amazing.

La Crepe Michel

Cute side alley in Old Town

Ristras and Dream Catchers
Places we ate during Mom's visit:
Maria's New Mexican Restaurant - Santa Fe

The Railyard Second Street Brewery - Santa Fe
2000 Vietnam Restaurant - Albuquerque
The Frontier Restaurant - Albuquerque
Il Vicino - Albuquerque
Sadies II - Albuqueruqe
La Crepe Michel - Allbuquerque

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