Chaco Culture (New Mexico)

A few weeks back Mama, Papa and I went to a place in the middle of nowhere called Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Though I wasn’t actually able to get into the ruins, again, we had great trip that was like looking back in time.

The drive didn’t seem long but I was asleep most of the way so I could be wrong. (Oh, Papa tells me I was wrong.)

Through the desertThe road was desolate and for miles nothing could be seen. That is, until we came across some beautiful wild horses.

I remember the first time I met a horse I was hiking with Papa up in Oregon when we walked up behind two of them. I didn’t know what to do with these huge creatures so I kept my distance until Papa made me walk right past them. Can you imagine my small stature looking up at a horse…?

Wild HorsesAs we went farther into the middle of nowhere we came across these two buildings. They were the only buildings you could see for miles and seemed long since abandoned.

Desert DwellingsFinally we went through a gate and found the entrance sign to Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

ChacoWe were finally here and ready for an adventure. Alas, this was as close as I would get as again “NO DOGS ALLOWED!”

I’m noticing a theme here about National Parks and that theme is that they do not like animals. At least not the ones that people befriend.

Chaco TrailMama and Papa trekked farther and came across this plaque that tells of the finding and slight restoration efforts that were done once the ruins were unearthed.

Pueblo Bonito They began walking around the outside and around the back of this structure.

Approaching Chaco from the side The architecture here is very different from anything Mama and Papa had ever seen.

Area Closed Beyond SignOnce they were around the backside they went up on a ledge that looked over the whole building. They read that the archaeologists that found this place believe the outer walls were much larger when it was in use.

Chaco View

Saw this lizard

Saw this lizard

This wall here shows the height they suspect the outer wall was all the way around.

Chaco staircaseThese steps lead down to the entrance to the inside of Chaco Culture where humans can walk around and get an up close look at the ruins.

Chaco Culture interiorThis circular room are called Kivas and were used when the people would have important gatherings that involved a family. This is a Great Kiva where many families would gather.

Chaco GatheringBelow is a standard size Kiva. Mama told me these Kivas each represent a family. Meetings and birthing would happen in these as well as many normal daily activities.

A roof would be made by laying wood on the pillars and eventually when enough were stacked it would make for quite the roof. They even had vent holes at the bottom of most of them so the fire and the people could breathe.

Chaco Kiva Moving farther in there were rooms that were finished and most likely used for storage. Though to get through them you had to crouch to enter. Our old neighbor, Dean, who is a Native American up in Oregon told Papa about small doors and Native American culture.

Dean said it is about respect, symbolized birth and is humbling to the person as they came through. Ill intent and negative emotions are to be left at the door. I wonder if the same is true for the people that lived here?

Chaco DoorwayThis is the inside of one of these finished rooms. If you look close you can see someone was nice enough to carve RW into the wood. These look so out of place I can only imagine that someone with no respect came here and decided to blemish this amazing piece of history; too bad really.

I am a dog and you could trust me not to do something like this. Thankfully this was the only defacing they saw here.

Interior Room CeilingFinally when emerging from the other side, the trail had led them full circle and almost back to me. I always know when they are coming to get me and that made me happy.

Chaco wallDesert Frenchie

This turned out to be a great trip for Mama and Papa and I got a chance to sit in the shade.

Thank you to Papa’s fourth grade teacher, Mr. Oliver, for recommending we come to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Sandia Crest (New Mexico)

Not too long ago while my humans and I were in Albuquerque, New Mexico we went to a place called Sandia Crest. Sandia Crest can be accessed an number of ways from hiking, riding the 2.7 mile tram or driving up the Sandia Crest Byway.

It seems I wasn’t allowed to ride the tram and the hike may have killed me, I’m pretty sure Mama and Papa wouldn’t have be able to make it either but don’t tell them I said that. It turned out the hour long drive from the city was our only way there.

Sandia Crest Peak 2At 10,678 feet above sea level the views are amazing. It was much cooler up there compared to the city; as much as 30 degrees cooler. You can see for over 100 miles in most directions from the top.

We didn’t find much space to move around but the draw to Sandia Crest is the view.

Sandia Crest Peak 4The Sandia Crest House is also located up here at this point and houses a restaurant that serves burgers and houses the visitor center. Unfortunately it was closed so we couldn’t check it out, I doubt I’d be allowed in anyway.

Sandia Crest Peak 3 Pictured above in the view of the city and below you can see the other side of this mountain.

Sandia Crest Peak 8As usual Papa was looking through that black thing he always shoves in my face when they make me sit in random places.

I don’t know what it is about that thing but he seems more fascinated with it than I am with bones. He never chews on it so it can’t be that cool; to each their own I guess…

Jessica

Mama held Papa’s hat for him while he fiddled with that black thing.

Sandia Crest Peak 6 Sandia Crest Peak 7 Although the views were breathtaking I found myself more interested in the black squawking birds flying overhead.

CrowThe birds seems to be circling this rock as though they were looking for something. I assume it was some tasty critter.

Sandia Crest Peak 5Mama, Papa and I wound up having a great day. Though the Sandia Peak Tram sounded like a lot of fun it was pretty expensive and my family always wants me with them.

If you ever find yourself in Albuquerque, New Mexico do yourself a favor and check out Sandia Crest you will not be disappointed.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park

Today I thought I would tell you about the time we went to the North Domingo Baca Dog Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The ride there took forever and when we got there as usual I was super excited. Mama and Papa just stood there ignoring me while I shook with anticipation.

Eventually I calmed down and Papa lifted me out of the truck and off to the park.

I Instantly met another dog and could not wait for Mama and Papa to let me in!North Domingo Baca Dog Park 2Of coarse once I was in the gate all that excitement came right back!

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 3North Domingo Baca Dog Park is one of the better dogs parks we have been too! The first dog park we went to in Albuquerque only had one dog there and he was mean.

There was a Husky there that I had fun running with for a few minutes.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 4 North Domingo Baca Dog Park 5Quickly though, my attention was diverted when I saw a boxer kind of near a baseball and acting interested in it. So I did what any dog would do, I took it and ran off.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 6I ran and ran with it until I realized she didn’t want it anymore. Now that it had lost its value I left it and ran off for other antics.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 7Quickly I was far too warm and found some shade.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 9Then I ran to another tree for shade.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 13Just after that I saw people under shade and realized I could get some much deserved attention and be in the shade at the same time.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 10It turned out to be a win win. We all had a great day at North Domingo Baca Dog Park.

North Domingo Baca Dog Park 11North Domingo Baca Dog Park is a great park where humans and dogs alike can socialize in the beautiful weather. Here we met a lady named Yaroz, who runs Paws In Action. Paws In Action is a dog care company local to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Yaroz has a great love of dogs. Her services include Dog Walking, Pet Transportation, Pet Sitting, Private Boarding, “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” and Overnight House Sitting. So if you are in the Albuquerque,  New Mexico and have need of dog care check out Paws In Action or find them on Facebook.

RV Garden (The Rabbit Attack)

The other day Papa decided he would set up a little RV garden so they can have fresh herbs and maybe some plants. He planted a few seeds and a few days later little green plants started growing.

A few days after plantingPapa got excited and decided to expand his RV garden and we all went to Home Depot for some plants and garden supplies.

On a side note that isn't our trailer in the back.

On a side note that isn’t our trailer in the back.

Papa set out to getting everything in order and planted. There was a tomato plant, Sandia Hot Peppers, Strawberries, Sage, Lavender and Rosemary to start while the seedlings grow.

He started with this big heavy bin, without thinking about the weight… In it went the peppers and the strawberries.

RV GardenNext was the tomato plant and then the herbs.

Tomato PlantSomething seemed off but Papa wouldn’t listen.

I heard somethingI went to check out behind the Magic House but everything checked out.

Smelled something RV GardenPapa had the RV garden finished and we would now be able to go back in the Magic House and get some much needed sleep. I’d been awake for hours.

Guillermostravels RV GardeningAgain, I smelled something but Papa wouldn’t listen.

I swear there is an animal around here

You hear that?

Well needless to say my warnings of stares throughout the evening went unheeded and this is what Papa and I came to the next morning after my morning business.

Rabbit AttackThe evidence points to a rabbit sabotage of the RV garden but we can’t know for sure. What we do know is there is an animal out there with a full belly on our tomato plant!

Papa moved the RV garden inside while we travel and we are going to have to make sure to not let any animals get to it. Now that some time has passed the plants that made it are finally starting to lift up again.

Coming BackThe sprouts are going strong and hopefully they will be eaten by humans instead of rabbits.

sproutsThe RV garden is safe for now. Hopefully no deer get to it in the mountains…

Santa Fe Plaza (Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi)

The other day our travels brought us to the Santa Fe Plaza. When we got there we circled around for awhile before Papa finally shut the truck off and we were able to move around. We found ourselves on an old street with a large church at the end of the road.

THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI 2We quickly found a statue of a donkey and as usual Mama made me sit there and Papa kept trying to get my attention.

BurroAs this was happening we heard a man say. “That is going to be a great picture!” He came over and gave me some well deserved attention. He then started talking to Mama and Papa about this particular area of the Santa Fe Plaza and the history of this alley.

Guillermostravels Burro AlleyAs it turns out this is Burro Alley. Apparently this street is way old (17th century old) and this was the alley that people would park their burros when coming into town to sell firewood. This was the nightlife area where there were saloons and even where the Ladies of the Night worked. Just around the corner there is a building that is said to be the oldest public building in the US!

As we made our way farther down the road we came to the Santa Fe Plaza. There were vendors and dogs everywhere… And grass, real green grass! With all this time we have spent in the desert I almost forgot this color existed.

I see colors differently from you as I only have to ability to see blue and green, not this red color I hear you humans talking about.

Santa Fe PlazaThere was one area in particular that was heavily populated with vendors and they all kept calling me William and Willy. You can see where this place is on the left of the picture above along the road. Here is another angle.

Santa Fe Locals Selling WaresMama got a new silver bracelet and after I got my fill of some much deserved attention we started walking toward the big church on the outskirts of the Santa Fe Plaza.
THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISIThe building looks slightly out of place here but is very impressive none the less. When we got closer we found that it is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It is said that St. Francis was  able to commune with animals.

I should have liked to have met him so he could translate to Mama and Papa for me. Staring at them only seems to get me so far…

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI On the other side of the stairs from him was a statue of Archbishop J.B. Lamy.

Archbishop J.B. LamyThe door to enter the Cathedral was heavy and had some very intricate works of art on it.

THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI - front door THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI - Door ArtThis door marked the end of my pilgrimage to this Cathedral as dogs are not welcome in this building. Mama and Papa took turns checking it out and brought pictures to show me.

This is the wall just behind the podium on the main stage where the Bishop gives his sermons.

THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI - StageIn the middle of the aisle there is the largest holy water basin I have ever heard of.

THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI - Holy Water BasinThis is completely filled with pristine calm water. It is so calm that reflections on the surface are the only reason you can tell there is water in it.

Holy Water Basin Finally to the left of the stage there is this small area where people can come to pray. The statue in the middle on the top is actually about 700 years old. It was a gift from another country when the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was built, or a little while after anyway.

They change its clothes regularly. While we were there they had it dressed in attire that makes sense for the Easter season.

THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI - StatueOnce we were done exploring Santa Fe Plaza we made our way back to the truck. I was so tired I didn’t even seem to notice people or even care for attention. I had met many people and been loved on plenty. All I wanted to do was sleep.

Before leaving Santa Fe, Mama and Papa had one more stop they needed to make. They went to the Bobcat Bite. The Bobcat Bite has been in Santa Fe since 1953.

Photo Courtesy of bobcatbite.com

The restaurant gets its name from the bobcats that would come down from the mountain to the backdoor and would be fed scraps. This doesn’t happen anymore though.

The Food Network is doing a show about Bobcat Bite and they are rated as on of the top 10 burger joints in the country!

Papa especially loved this place and was sad after his 300 gram (not sure how much that is but it looked like a lot) bacon and Santa Fe green chili cheeseburger was gone. Hopefully if we go to Chaco Canyon we will stop there again.

Now we are back at the Magic House and as usual I am asleep. The Santa Fe Plaza was a great experience and we had a great time. I am glad to be home though I was so tired I didn’t even notice the ride home this time.