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Taos/Santa Fe Caravan II

  •  PART II

    Being in Santa Fe with the Xscapers group was a lot of fun. We had a whole week to get to know some people better and meet even more new people. Amazingly, when it was over there were still some unfamiliar faces. It’s hard to get to know everyone in a group of over 100! This time we were all camped at the fairgrounds in Santa Fe.

    IMG_3771View of us all camped at the fairgrounds under one of many beautiful sunsets.

    Being that it is an Xscapers event, there aren’t formal activities planned during the work week, so Tom and I were free to go off exploring on our own.

    One day we went hiking at  Bandelier National Monument, close to Los Alamos, but separated by a canyon.  There are lots of mesas like fingers around here, so sometimes you have to go the long way around to get from one place to another.

    IMG_3645The overlook at the tip of this mesa finger.

    The ruins there were quite different from the ones at Chaco Canyon. Much less sophisticated with single wall (stone) construction. The walls of the canyon had many niches carved out rather than built in like many of the other cliff dwellings we’ve seen.

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    IMG_3733The holes were for roof beam supports made of timbers that have long ago rotted.  In the middle is a preserved wall painting!

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    IMG_3742We had fun crawling around on the ladders, and with the nearby creek, this was definitely the most beautiful area we’ve seen ruins in.IMG_3580IMG_3610

    Wednesday evening everyone was excited about going to Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return – basically an interactive art exhibit.IMG_3705

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    We explored for over two hours and still might have missed something. It was fun to act like big kids and slide into the washing machine or walk out from the refrigerator.

    IMG_3701When everyone was done exploring, we gathered for drinks before heading off to local breweries.

    Thursday we went on another adventure by ourselves. I had no knowledge of Los Alamos and no desire to go there until we found out about it when we were at the visitor’s center for Bandelier.  Turns out it is the place where they figured out how to make the atomic bomb. Tom and I spent over five hours poking around the museums there. So much I never knew – like this:IMG_3740

    We started at the visitors center and took the walking tour of downtown. We stumbled upon someone who still works  “behind the fence” at “the Lab” (Los Alamos National Laboratory). It was interesting to pick his brain. We found out that 12,000 of the brightest minds still work at the Lab in such diverse areas as climate control, Mars exploration,  environmental protection, communications, and of course they do work for the DOD.IMG_3723

    We highly recommend the Bradbury Science Museum (free!).  It’s where the supercomputer was born, and there are probably more people with PHD’s there than anywhere else in the US. As always, I learn so much that was either not taught when I was in school, or else not absorbed by my distracted brain back then. 

    That night in camp, the group had pizza delivered and then we all bundled up to watch an outdoor movie. RV themed of course, we watched “Paul”. Funny movie.

    On Friday, we had a group potluck and grilled hotdogs,  then we all went around touring each other’s rigs. It was fun to see the inventiveness and creativity of other people living this lifestyle.

    On our last day the weather was the best (of course) , sunny and warm enough for shorts.  We had a potluck brunch and even got to help celebrate a young birthday.IMG_3757Then the weather turned nasty and there were thundershower alerts. We got off with just some wind and rain and it turned into a good day tor us to stay inside and get some work done. Actually, it was a good day to go check out some brewery’s but we had already done enough of that!

    Now it’s on to our next destination, another Army Corps of Engineers at a lake to the north; Riana Coumpground at Abiquiu Dam.

    Happy Travels,

    Peace & Love, Joy

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    Santa Fe, NM, USA