Thursday, March 05, 2009


Yesterday, we drove up to Bandelier National Monument to hike the main trail and see the ruins. We had a great time. The weather was gorgeous -- blue sky with a few clouds, not too hot not too cool, with only a small breeze. We went with friends, hiked about 3.5 miles and saw so much cool stuff!

I took 81 pictures! Man, I love digital cameras. I promise I won't post them all here. Just several of the best (I posted a few more over at my 365 blog).

Bandelier was home to Anasazi Pueblo people from 500 CE to 1500 CE, when the conquistadores arrived. Homes -- more like apartments -- were built against the cliff face, using vigas (beams) for ceiling supports. As time went by and more generations were born, the people just added new apartments above older ones. In some places you can see holes in the rock face where vigas were placed, for homes as many as three stories tall.

A view of some of the ruins from high up on the hills, where there were homes built into the cliff face. I think those ruins are of common space structures. They are next to the kiva, an underground room found in Anasazi ruins believed to have been
used for religious and community purposes.

Dan at the edge of the kiva ruins.

We saw some wildlife -- everyone was excited to spot this little lizard!

The kids all climbed the ladder into a large room with several windows/openings. Near the bottom of the picture, you can see a hole that held a viga.

Dan, ready to come back down the ladder. If you look closely, you can see Spencer poking his head out another opening above the door.

I'm not sure why - or when - these bricks were stacked in the window,
but I like the way it looks.

Andy insisted on a close-up shot from a window.

After hiking the main loop trail, thru the community ruins, we hiked up to Alcove House, which is a huge room apparently used for ceremonies, at the top of some very tall ladders, overlooking the entire valley. I didn't climb the ladder, but all the kids did - and they all really enjoyed the Alcove House.

Andy & Vince, resting after hiking back down from Alcove House.

Dan leaning on a rock.

It was a long walk -- we all needed a good rest when it was over.