Los Alamos and Bandolier

RioGrande V SIldefonso

From our rural rancho, we headed north, in general up the Río Grande Valley. Then we turned west, and descended to the river. This is looking up the valley before we crossed the river and began our ascent of the eroded flank of a extinct volcano.

Tall trees

As we climbed, we eventually reached elevations where we saw the tall pines I suspect are Ponderosas.

LosAlamos algae

We stopped in Los Alamos. We recommend the Bradbury Museum. It’s not named after Ray. The displays are eye-catching and up-to-date. This is from the section on current research.

Thick gloves display

The nephews tried the thick-gloves and found it not-so-easy to pick up light plastic shapes and put them in large-ish test tubes.


After lunch, we headed over to Bandolier National Monument. Because the winds were kicking up, we headed off on the main train, near the visitor center, which goes to, through, and by kivas, room-block ruins, and cliff dwellings.

Tyuonyi rooms

This is the room-block ruins of Tyuonyi (Qu-weh-nee) village today—I’m left in black.

Tyuonyi 1923 1 pre stablization walls

For comparison: 1923 US government photo of Tyuonyi, before stabilization of walls.

Tyuonyi walls eye level

Stabilized walls of Tyuonyi at eye level.

Petroglyph wall

Here’s a section of wall that has rows of holes that held beams that were roof/floors (low in this shot).

Petroglyphs CU

Here’s a close-up of petroglyphs on the wall (a crop of the photo above).

Canyon wall

Here’s another section of wall. The roof/floor beam holes are even more obvious…. At the base of the canyon wall are the ruins of rooms. Some of these rooms would have been for storing food, rather than for living in.

Alcove house

Farther up the valley is a high-elevation cliff dwelling; it’s in that ovate. Starting from the left in the lowest blob of tree shadow you may be able to pick out a gleam from a handrail. That’s already one ladder up from the valley floor. Visitors continue to the right to three more ladders, eventually reaching that large cave to the upper right. It’s large enough to have a kiva (closed) with ruins along the margins of the space (I’m told).

Frijoles Creek

We also really enjoyed walking in the Frijoles Valley. The wind was kicking up, and we were glad we set off walking just after our arrival in the valley. It’s now several hours after we left Bandolier, and the winds are fierce—as they were last night. This is mildly concerning because the fire warning levels are “extremely high” and we are out in the bush (as it were), and the electricity has already flickered twice. But, it’s on now, so I’m going to get this up! Or at least try to.

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