We pulled into Taos just as they were shutting off roads to run their Homecoming parade. From the looks of things the entire town and half the county turn out for that affair. I think we might of been the last rig through 'fore they shut off the road... and the confusion in front of us had things kinda bottled up for a bit.
Once we got through it was a fairly quick last few miles to the monument. If you've got a sizeable rig I'd get there early in the day and likely mid week to find a spot... They recently rebuilt things in their campground and for reasons unknown to me seem to think the vehicles folks are traveling in are 'bout 6 feet long.
There are a few spurs and fewer pull thoughs to park a 30' like ours or a lil' larger... but they are the minority.
Once you do get set up it's a pretty nice area. I was sitting at the table one afternoon watching a crow pickin' a fight with a Hawk overhead. It was pretty impressive. That Hawk did a complete inverted wing over kind of maneuver two or three times until finally that crow exercised a lil discretion and packed it for home... 'fore that Hawk had him for supper!
We took a hike from the Juniper Campground down to some of the ruins, descending from the canyon rim. It's only 'bout a mile and a half... and the path is pretty easy most of the way. A little narrow here and there... but mostly a nice and easy stroll.
Came around one bend and I couldn't help but think this rock looked like one of those big "tiki" heads. ;)
If ya'll don't want to hike it... they have a shuttle bus that passes the camp every quarter hour or so. Fact is those are the only two ways you can get there. The road is pretty much closed to cars.
Bandelier is one of those sweet spots in the desert. This whole area runs fast from tall pines up by Los Alamos to scrubby Juniper and bunch grass in the lower areas. Then you get the places like Frijoles Canyon
that are the oasis with Oak, Cottonwood and the Junipers that benefit from better water.
It's no wonder those ancient indians picked it for a place to live. I expect it gets pretty warm in the summers but with plenty of leafy shade to lay up in... I think I could make it through.
|*Trail through Frijoles Canyon in Bandelier National Monument*|
There is one thing 'bout taking a closer look at some of the more interesting ruins here... or several things... ladders.
Heidi isn't too fond of such things... not into rock climbing neither... buuuuut... if you want to have a look inside of the digs at Bandelier Nat. Mon. ya gotta climb!
|*Weaving Area at Bandelier*|
This cave was set up for weaving they claimed. They'd set hooked poles into the ceiling and there were holes drilled into the floor to anchor their looms setups...
Some others had caves connected together for multiple rooms...
One of the sites is called the Alcove house... I think there were three ladders to climb the 140 feet up... or maybe it was four? Tell the truth I think I lost count of all the ladders in that place!
|*Bandelier Alcove House*|
This is one of those spots, if height is an issue? Ya'll probably shouldn't look down. :)
|*Climbing up to Alcove House... Not necessarily willingly ;) *|
The hike to get here isn't much... but I'm thinkin' the climbing of all these ladders has to count for another mile or two!
truly, there's not a whole lot left of Alcove house. Most appears to be a rubble pile... but another of the Weaving areas is there... Heidi climbed down into that... Curious, considering all the grousin' goin' on 'bout the ladders! :)
... and then of course... what goes up... must come down... so all those ladders and narrow steps in reverse...
It's a pretty interesting place... especially if you're into ladders!
I did happen to notice something I don't believe anybody else had seen... Apparently the folks living here were Greenbay Packers fans...
|*Ruins at Bandelier National Monument*|
|*Bandelier National Monument|
|*Bandolier National Monument ~ Long House*|
... and of course the requisite flower pic from along the trail!
The paths are kinda narrow in spots... and occasionally you find lost hikers hiding along the way...
But Bandelier National Monument makes a pretty nice camp for a few days.
Bound Once again for Zion..