Bandelier National Monument
White Rock Travel Blog› entry 7 of 25 › view all entries
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.
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!