Bandelier National Monument

White Rock Travel Blog

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Next stop was at Bandelier National Monument, one of the most moving sites I've ever visited. Tom at the Santa Fe visitors' center had said it is one of the most spiritual places he'd ever visited and I must agree. The ancient civilization that created and inhabited these cliff dwellings was obviously highly advanced. Climbing up along the cliff and then up some ladders into the caves was an incredible experience.

After a while the trail split and Linda looped back towards the visitors’ center while I headed for the "Alcove House" 1/2 mile further along. The trail was in the woods along a steam but in view of the cliffs through the trees. I will never forget that experience. I paced myself to stay separated from other people in order to enjoy the solitude and savor the experience.

What Tom had said was an understatement; though the Anasazi people simply disappeared centuries ago, I could truly feel their spirits with me. Eventually, I came to the foot of a series of steps and ladders that took me up 140' to "Alcove House", a large cave that at one time was the site of many dwellings. I must admit that, by the time I got to the cave, I was exhausted and breathing like a locomotive. I basically collapsed to the ground for a few minutes but quickly regained my breath. Fortunately, I was alone with my thoughts for a while before anyone else showed up. Frankly, it might have been better if no one had come but I'm thankful for the brief solitude I had. There's small kiva there so I climbed down the ladder into that as well. All good things must end and eventually I headed back.
Overlook Park, White Rock

Lin was, of course, waiting for me at the visitors' center and we headed onward. Our advisor, Tom, had recommended Overlook Park in the town of White Rock and gave us detailed instructions on how to find it. The views from there over the Rio Grande valley are absolutely breathtaking.

We arrived at the hotel, exhausted, at about 6:30 and agreed to skip the wine and cheese but made reservations at the 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar for 8:00. Dinner was French and, of course, phenomenal.

Back in the room, I lit a fire and played a CD of Indian flute music I'd bought at Bandelier, then pulled up an easy chair in front of the fire and set out to write my journal. Lin opted for bed so once again I was alone with my thoughts. So here I was... a rustic room, a wood fire, Indian flute music and memories of touching an ancient civilization. All in all, a hauntingly wonderful experience!

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Overlook Park, White Rock
Overlook Park, White Rock
Overlook Park, White Rock
Overlook Park, White Rock
Rio Grande from Overlook Park, Whi…
Rio Grande from Overlook Park, Wh…
From Overlook Park, White Rock
From Overlook Park, White Rock
White Rock
photo by: Amott08