Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gila: hike after cave dwellings

Once Chris and I left the dwellings we stopped at a small trail which had tons of very visible history. This is where we came across the last cave picture shown in the last post, and lots of beautiful paintings. And then we just hiked, enjoying the landscape, and the first tangible water supply... for what seemed like a very long time.

this is one of Chris's photographs. the grass on the strip of bank we were on were making these beautiful patterns

Chris and I

GILA: Cave dwellings

So now we come to my favorite part of the trip :) Gila National forest .... which I have consistently been pronouncing Geela... but which Chris (just as consistenly keeps reminding me) is actually Heela. This is a national forest in New Mexico, which has the largest, most diverse landscapes and history (at least in my mind), that I have ever witnessed. The silence in Gila was unlike anything I have ever witnessed... completely inpenetrable. It was the first time, I have ever felt myself in the wilderness, and felt somewhat wary of the possibilities of what may surround me. My imagination of bears, wolves, bobcats, cougars, coyotes... and the thousand of other unknowns felt so close. It was the first time I have ever been in a place where I felt as though i was trespassing on nature's territory. I so wish my photographs could have captured some of the immense ammount of beauty I found there. The only words i feel could make anysense was that Gila was haunting but in the most beautiful way imaginable.

The drive on the way to the "cliff dwellings" [ our first daylight views of Gila].

a cactus flower

chris with a cactus and the views

rock outcropping

the signs on the way up! ... seeming both amusing and yet also not very far fetched :)

our first glimmer of a cave on the hike up to the "dwellings". They can trace these "dwellings" back until around 890 B.C. [ "the dwellings' are in quotes because they are not actually dwellings: refer to christopher's blog for further info]

if you look in the far left cave... you will see the structure of a hand built stone wall... attributed to the mogollon tribe.

the t-shape in this picture is an original doorway attributed to the Anasazi tribe: the conflicting Native American tribal signature pieces of the cave are what have contributed to the confusion of its' uses over the years.cave number 3the upper view from cave number three... looking into one of the smaller chambersthe inner view from cave three. This cave was huge.... and had absolutely incredible acoustics!Chris looking out of cave three one of the few remaining cave paintings.

i really enjoyed this series. me on the climb down from cave threea really big tree. this was a cave that was about a mile away from the 'tourist' cave dwelligns. It was recommended to us by one of the guides. It was hidden away off of a little trail... and was thought to be used as a home... during the time in which the 'cave dwellings' were used as a spiritual center.

christopher.... looking very christopher.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Mexico

our first stop in new mexico was a place recommended to us by a delightfully crazy texan who pulled us over at a gas station with "Hello Pennsylvania, Welcome to Texas". And soo with two car windows rolled down he proceeded to give us a recommended itinerary for New Mexico. His first stop was the blue hole as pictured above. It was a beautiful stop (not quite photographable).. .but would be beautiful in the summer. Apparently people go there to scuba dive. It is literally a giant water hole in the middle of the desert with crystal clear waters. Here are our attempts at pictures:

Below is Las Vegas, New Mexico. This, besides flagstaff, has been my favorite town we have stopped in. It was a little pueblo in between Santa Rosa and Santa Fe, that we decided to stop in for lunch... and ended up walking for the majority of the afternoon. They had a lovely bookstore, yarn shop, and the best meal we had eaten up until that point. It reminded me very much of guatemala. Very lovely :)

the drive

On the road from Las Vegas to Santa Fe

Santa Fe:

Our hostel in Santa Fe. (we didn't stay in this part but i still thought it was quite picturesq.... the part we stayed in looked much more like a hostel)

the garage behind our hostel

this was the wind chime that was hanging in the courtyard of the hostel. It was made out of a collander, pipes, bowl and cutting board. quirky and lovely :)

Santa Fe's central plaza

a part of downtown santa fe

me in santa fe

Reid representation in santa fe

as we left santa fe we got lost in a neighborhood surrounding it. And were surrounded by incredible adobe architecture: represented above and below.

Old Town Albuquerque

Christopher's new hat... purchased in Albuquerque, that has hardly come off his head since. I felt he fit in quite nicely with the adopbe decor in this pic.

Somewhere along the road there has been some rattling noises. We think because of the high winds on the open plains of Oklahoma and New Mexico a part of Vincent (the new name for the vibe) came loose. Here chris is expertly fixing it with our roll of magical duck tape. Thank you dad for the roll :) Vincent has been holding in well ever since :)

Chris on the long-haul drive from Albuquerque to Silver City/ Gila National Forest.