Santa Fe Off The Beaten Path

  • Long house dwellings adjacent to each other
    Long house dwellings adjacent to each...
    by BruceDunning
  • Alcoe house-carved by hand
    Alcoe house-carved by hand
    by BruceDunning
  • Replicated kiva in Alcove house
    Replicated kiva in Alcove house
    by BruceDunning

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Santa Fe

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    Chimayo-Town Sites

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    View of the looms and active working
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    The main items that was open was Trujillo's Weaving, at the corner of Country Rd 98 and Hwy 76. Number 505-351-4457.They have been weaving for eight generations in this setting. Almost all the other places along Hwy 76 were closed/dead, or maybe never opening again? Quite a disappointment since I thought the shops would hold some nice touring

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    Chimayo-A Sacred Place

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Santuario Church
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    This is a place of pilgrimage and 300,000 come annually to attend masses and hopefully be redeemed or receive cures for ills and pains and disabilities. The church first was built in early 1800's and by 1820 it was known as a church to cure diseases and ills and healings. The tower and roof pitch were added in 1917. Services are held daily and twice Sunday. The whole complex surrounding the church is dedicated to the pilgrims coming here

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    Los Alamos-Fuller Lodge

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Ceiling of logs in main lobby
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    This was built in 1928 as a school/ranch to teach children of means the discipline of how and what to learn. It was then very remote up to here. The main section has 771 huge logs, and the wings on either end were added after the Manhatten Project finalized here. They took over the lodge and other buildings for guests during the atomic bomb development. There are about 30 guest rooms and it is still used today for events and seminars

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    Los Alamos-City History Museum of the Bomb

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Picture of the building dated 1918
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    This is a small, but packed full building that displays the every day life of the people that came here to live while they worked on the bomb, and its impact on the community that thrived later. It has many good displays and artifacts of the life of the families living here to develop the bomb, and it also shows pictures of the bombs impact in Japan. It is a nice museum that can take one hour or more to view and read all the memorabilia.
    It is off Central Ave to the north end of downtown and next to Fuller Lodge. The museum is open 9:30-4:30PM Monday-SAturday and 1-4PM Sunday. Admission is free, but donations pleases them.

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    Los Alamos-A Nuke Experience

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Replica of the bomb-Big Boy
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    Los Alamos National Laboratory was built to construct the atomic bomb and it was called "the Manhatten Project". This museum concept began in 1953, and eventually evolved into a great exhibit for people of all ages to learn about the history of the making of the bomb, family life of the people working on the project, and how nuclear fusion works. There are three main rooms, plus two films. The tour to take it all in could be about 2 hours. There is a lot of interesting things to see and read in addition to interactive spots to learn and try your skills and knowledge.
    At one time they had over 2,000 people here, which included families and they usually were not allowed to leave due to secrecy of location and the work until the WWII ended. They all formed the current day community of Los Alamos which is on top a three main mesas where the homes were/are built. The location was chosen because of its remote setting and difficult for curiousity seekers to get to it.
    The museum is open Tuesday-SAturday 10-5 and Sunday & Monday 1-5PM. Admission is free.

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    White Rock Overlook

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    View to Rio Grand river
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    In this town of 7,000 people is an overlook down 600 feet to the Rio Grand river. The views are nice. Take Meadow Lane off SR4 on the way to Bandeleir Park. It is about 1 mile down that street through neighborhoods.

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    Bandelier Park-Tsankawi Ruin Hike

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    View of the cliffside
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    This is a mesa hike to see ruins of those Indians. The hike is 1 1/2 miles, but feels twice that. The hike is along the mesa for a while, and then for 1/2 of the hike you follow a path requiring cautious stepping with one foot in front of the other on a carved out eroded rock. It is not easy to keep that stepping without being unstable. At the top of the hike is the ruin, which is a non event; mostly remaining rock rubble of one feet high. The views are nice, but you need to watch every step. Ladders are used for some of the trial hike.
    The location is just off Hwy 502 at Intersection Hwy 4-about 2 blocks in. A gravel lot is along the roadside. It is 12 miles from Bandelier park entrance.

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    Bandelier Park-Upper Falls Hike

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Close up view of waterfall
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    This is a great hike, but a bit rugged in places. At the end there is a water fall known as upper waterfall. The lower water fall is not accessible due to wash out of the trail due to the 2011 floods. The hike is 1 1/2 miles with a 400 descent and ascent back. The trail crosses the river a few times and could be impassable after heavy rains. The views are great and the payoff is at the end to see the waterfall.
    Take the walkover bridge from the parking lot to the TH

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    Bandelier National Park

    by BruceDunning Updated May 27, 2013

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    Eroded peaks of rock hoo doos
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    This park has some unique rock formations, as well as preserved Indian living quarters and cultural life displayed. The geology shows eroded rocks that have carved out holes; some big enough to become living quarters for the Indians in the old days. In June 2011, there was a huge fire that encompassed 156,000 acres and destroyed much vegetation and trees in the park. Two months later they had heavy rains, and that led to severe damage to mush of the land terrain.
    The park is still recovering today, and tourists have come back to see the nature sites. The park state it has 66 miles of trails, but about 6 miles are the known one and the main ones traveled, leading to Anasazi Indian dwellings and waterfall.
    The park was dedicated in 1916 after Adolph Bandelier visited it 38 years earlier. The park has 33,000 acres.
    The park is about 45 miles from Santa Fe; down Hwy 502 on way to Los Alamos and turn south on Hwy 4 for 15 miles. The Visitor center is 5-6 miles into the park

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    Bandelier Park-Loop trail hike

    by BruceDunning Written May 27, 2013

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    Long house dwellings adjacent to each other
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    This hike takes you to/through the Tyuoni pueblo ruins, and onto 30-40 cliff dwellings of the Ansazi Indians that used to live here. The main loop is 1 1/2 miles to see these sites. If you desire, another 1/2 miles takes you to the Alcove House, a meeting place on a cliff side up 140 feet climb That would make the overall hike would be 2 1/2 miles.

    Alcove House once had 25 people living on the cliff area. It take a climb up 4 ladders and stone steps to get to the alcove and kiva. Occupied by Indians over 10,000 years ago, they abandoned the area in 1550 and mover south a few miles.

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    Española

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 6, 2011

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    In the Chimay�� Trading Post
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    Española is an unprepossessing town a few miles north of Santa Fe, but well worth a visit if only for one single sight – the Chimayó Trading Post. Its location, marooned on a small triangle of land surrounded by busy roads, is somehow apt, because the place itself feels like a perfect slice of history marooned in the 21st century. To step inside is to feel yourself transported back around a hundred years, when the pace of life was slower and nothing was ever thrown away, because it might just come in handy one day. It seemed to me that many of those un-thrown away items have found their way here, to Española.

    And if you’re wondering why a trading post in Española should be named for a neighbouring town, well apparently the building was originally in Chimayó but was moved to this location in the 1930s. It seemed to us that the current owner must have moved here then too, and possibly been sitting inside behind the counter where we met him ever since, as his age and that of many of the objects for sale here seemed about the same! But no, Leo had a busy working life as cabin crew for Pan Am for many years, meeting his wife there, and settling down here in retirement.

    If you’re lucky, as we were, you may get to see Leo’s house behind the store, which is as much a treasure trove of antiques as the trading post itself. He and his wife collected things from all over the world during their travels so don’t be surprised to see something that would look more at home in an English country house or Chinese pagoda! Make sure you see the kitchen too if possible, more or less unchanged since the 1930s I suspect.

    For more about our visit to Española please see my separate little page, "An encounter with Leo".

    Directions: Take Highway 84 north out of Santa Fe and look out for the Trading Post at the junction as you come into town. There’s plenty of parking at the side of the building.

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    Bandelier National Monument: Tsankawi

    by toonsarah Written Dec 1, 2011

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    One reason for our planning to spend several days in Santa Fe was to do a day trip to Bandelier National Monument. I had read a lot about it, here on VT and elsewhere, and knew it was just the sort of place we would enjoy visiting. Then a few months before our visit a wildfire swept through the area, devastating over 146,000 acres, including about 60% of Bandelier’s area. Almost all of the monument was closed to visitors. But fortunately for us one small part remained open, and it sounded like one of the most interesting – Tsankawi. This lies twelve miles from the main section of the park and had been unaffected by the fire. Here you can follow a trail (the website said 1.5 miles though it felt a little longer), walking literally in the footsteps of the ancient inhabitants of this land, in the deep grooves worn in the rocks over the centuries. It’s not the easiest of walks – as well as the deep narrow track you will need to be able to climb a few ladders. But it’s well worth it. You climb to the top of the mesa where there was once a pueblo, then descend past a series of cavates (which you can enter) and a few petroglyphs. Throughout the walk there are expansive views over the surrounding countryside. To add to the magic of the place, there’s a good chance that you’ll have it more or less to yourself. We met only two other couples during the whole time we were on the trail, and that at a time when the rest of the monument was closed.

    For more about our visit to Tsankawi please see my (forthcoming) separate little page.

    Directions: As the website says, this isn’t the easiest place to find, so I’ve copied their directions here – we followed them and had no problem:
    “Coming from Santa Fe you'll turn from State Highway 502 to State Highway 4. Less than 1/4 of a mile past this turn Tsankawi will be located on the left hand side of the road. There are no signs for Tsankawi on Highway 4. If you get to the stoplight, you've gone too far. A large gravel parking area adjacent to the highway and a sign on the fence will indicate you've found the place.”
    Access to the monument costs $12 per vehicle. There is an honour pay post in the little hut at the start of the trail, and you display the permit in your car. The two other cars parked there when we arrived didn’t appear to have bothered, perhaps feeling it was unnecessary with most of the monument closed, but we paid – they’re going to need the funds to repair the fire’s damage, after all.

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    Around Abiquiu

    by toonsarah Written Dec 1, 2011

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    Abiquiu Lake
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    If you’ve visited the Geogia O’Keeffe Museum and been inspired by the red rock scenery in many of her landscapes, head out to Abiquiu to see where she found her inspiration. Unfortunately when we did just that the weather was rather overcast, but nevertheless the landscape was very impressive and well worth the drive. Once beyond Española the drive is pleasant enough, but it is after you pass the small town of Chilli that it starts to get more dramatic. At first the drama comes from the contrast between the lush green valley of the Rio Chama and the more barren hills on either side. Then as you near Abiquiu the rocky outcrops get more eye-catching and the colours richer, with reds and whites predominating.

    The village of Abiquiu, home to O’Keeffe for more than 40 years, tends to keep itself to itself, and visitors are not really encouraged, much as is the case with many of the pueblos. You can tour the O’Keeffe house, but only with a prior reservation (see the O’Keeffe Museum’s website for details). We hadn’t planned that far ahead, so decided to give the village a miss and instead headed for Abiquiu Lake a few miles further up the road. This is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the approach road is a little less scenic than you might hope, as you pass a small power station beside the road, but once beyond this you can park up by the Visitor Centre and stroll up the slope behind it to the point known as the Overlook. Here you can get a magnificent view of the lake, and beyond it the distinctive flat-topped of Cerro Pedernal, the mountain that found its way into so many of O’Keeffe’s works. When we were there it was rather windy on this somewhat exposed ridge overlooking the water, but in better weather it would be a marvellous place for a picnic (tables and grilles are available). The path leads past labelled examples of local shrubs and flowers, and I was able to identify a couple that I had been admiring during our travels round the state. The lake is a popular place for boating and fishing, and also has some camping facilities – see website (below) for more details.

    Directions: Take Highway 84 north out of Santa Fe to Abiquiu and beyond

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    The High Road to Taos

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 1, 2011

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    On the High Road to Taos
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    Although we moved on from Santa Fe to spend a few days in Taos, it’s also popular as a day trip destination (although in my view it merits an overnight at least). And if driving there you have a choice of two routes – the quicker (but still apparently pretty) Low Road, and the more dramatically scenic and historically interesting High Road. With all day to make the journey we chose the latter, and I can certainly recommend it. The views at times are fantastic, and there are some fascinating villages to stop at along the way. I will write separate pages about some of these so this is just an overview of the delights awaiting you on the High Road to Taos.

    The one “must stop” place on the route is Chimayó, where the Santuario de Chimayó has been a place of pilgrimage for almost two centuries. This little adobe church was built at the place where a local farmer, Bernardo Abeyta, is said to have dug up a miraculously glowing crucifix. The soil in the hole where it was found is believed to have powers of healing and is known as Holy Dirt. It is protected in a tiny side chapel and the pilgrims make a small donation in return for digging some up to apply to injured limbs, parts of the body affected by illness – or even to eat (although I noted on the official literature at the church that this is discouraged). Nearby is another chapel, dedicated to the Santo Niño. It holds a statue of the Christ Child (El Santo Niño de Atocha) that some believe to travel about at night working miracles. Around the walls are hundreds of pairs of baby shoes left by the faithful to replace those he wears out on his nightly journeys.

    We also stopped to see the mission churches in Truchas and Las Trampas; the latter is especially worth the tiny detour needed, as it is considered one of the finest surviving examples of the adobe architecture built in New Mexico, and is designated a National Historic Landmark. Both churches were however closed so we could only appreciate the exteriors. We also stopped off to eat a picnic lunch at pretty Picuris Pueblo before continuing on to Taos. You could do this whole drive in less than two hours, but there would be little point. Its magic is in these little villages, their churches a measure of the deep faith of the mission fathers – and at Chimayó at least, a sign of a faith that is still very much alive today in New Mexico.

    Directions: Take Highway 84 north out of Santa Fe and turn onto Highway 68 at Española – the High Road is signposted from there.

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  • Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market Update

    by tpfm Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market

    Directions: 6.5 miles north of Santa Fe on highway 84/285 exit 171

    Open from Mar thru Dec, 8am to 4pm Fri, Sat, Sun

    Phone: 505-670-2599 or 505-231-8536

    Web: www.pueblooftesuquefleamarket.com

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