A Single Drop in the Ever Flowing River

Today we spent the day hiking in Bandelier National Monument. The monument is about a 40 minute drive from Santa Fe. It was a gorgeous day, and the air was invigorating. Last time we were there, we did the main waterfall hike, but Daryn is still a bit little for that hike. None the less, with all the stairs, inclines, declines, and rough terrain, the hike was still a nice workout! I bought two new books on the trip. I ended up getting Dragonfly’s Tale by Kristina Rodanas, a fascinatingly illustrated book (dragonfly is another of my symbols). It would have been silly not to pick up The Manhattan Project: A Secret Wartime Mission. The book was edited by Kenneth M. Deitch, and was part of the Perspectives on History Series.


Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence” which goes “back over 11,000 years. “Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls stand tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.” The park was named after Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss anthropologist, and became a National Monument about four years after New Mexico became a state. It was very sad to hear from the first female ranger was encountered that the Las Conchas Fire burned close to 62% of the park in the summer of 2011. It is fortunate that the main areas of the park were not affected, but the wildlife surely suffered.

The people who settled in the Frijoles Canyon are known as Ancestral Pueblo people. In the past, these people were identified as the Anasazi.” The National Park is not far from, and closely linked to San Ildefonso Pueblo. This is where my paternal great grandmother Catalina Roybal de Lujan lived prior to 1930. There are stone mountain walls in the canyon, which are compressed volcanic ash. Many of them are filled with holes and “cave rooms” or “cavates” carved in the cliff walls. The walls also feature ancient petroglyphs (removing stone to make a picture) of the Macaw. The Macaw was a very spiritual bird for ancient people. Their feathers were actually used in many religious ceremonies. We also saw a few pictographs (painted designs).

According to the National Register of Historic Places, Bandelier National Monument spans three New Mexico counties (Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Santa Fe). It is hard to believe that this monument stretches over more than 30,000 acres of land. Today, we covered only a few of those acres. I always find myself being amazed by how small I really am. The river literally never stops flowing in that canyon. Today I realized I represent just a single drop in the ever flowing river of vast New Mexico history.

Sources:

Publications acquired while visiting the park.

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National Park Service Web Site for Bandelier National Monument

http://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

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National Register of Historic Places

www.nps.gov/nr/

Explore posts in the same categories: Authors, Bird and Feather Symbols, Books, Digital Photography, Edification, Energy, Environment, Historical Facts, History, Nature, New Mexico, Paternal Line, Spiritual, Symbols and Imagery, Water Symbol, Workout, Worthy Reads

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