New Mexico…

After a two week break from my blog it is difficult to decide where to go first with all the thoughts racing around in my head.

I was thoroughly enchanted by New Mexico, the scenery, the history and the gracious hospitality of our friends and since this is where we started a fortnight ago I’ll begin in a log cabin set on the side of a canyon in Jemes Springs.

An Indian Summer was in progress during our visit and Hubs and I enjoyed cool mornings, warm afternoons and mild evenings at Pen Point, a working name for the beautiful home we stayed in.

It was the first time we had been guests in someone’s house.  Usually, on our trips back home to England, we had to rent our own accommodation and make do for ourselves.

Our three day visit included a McNeny favourite, lunchtime picnics, complete with table cloth and napkins!

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Beside gently flowing waters,

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And if picnic tables weren’t available and the tablecloth was thrown on the ground,

Beside large cow patties left by the free grazing cows roaming, un-fenced, across tracts of land.

“We always had cow manure for company when we went on picnics with my grandmother in England,”  I said as we unloaded the basket.

This particular picnic had been prepared by Hubs and me.  We had cut up delicious fruit, packed wedges of cheese, a French loaf and cartons of yogurt…

And forgotten the utensils!

We creatively scooped fruit, broke off chunks of gouda and bread and slurped yogurt.

I eventually formed a canny device with the foil lid that worked as a spoon!

Making do is all part of the fun of picnics!

We visited the Valles Caldera and were amazed by the vastness of the crater that had spewed enough rock, more than a million years ago, to form the volcanic Jemes mountains and surrounding ranges.

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Photographs hardly do justice to this 89,000 acre ranch.

Its size is stunningly breathtaking and dominates the landscape.

The Las Conchas fire of 2011 denuded the mountain ranges and from a distance the slopes look as though they are covered in stubble.

Apparently the forest will take more than 50 years to recover.

In contrast, on the opposite side of the Caldera, the pines and Aspen covering the mountains form a dense, green backdrop against an intensely blue sky.

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Longmire’s log cabin is situated here.

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Not in Wyoming at all!

We went to the Bandelier National Monument and saw the remains of Petroglyphs,

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dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs.

I was thrilled to be able to climb a ladder into one, much as the Ancestral Puebloans had done hundreds of years ago.

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We saw evidence of what at first we thought was a cooking fire,

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and later read in our guide book that the charred ceiling was the result of having to burn off modern day graffiti.

What a shame.

While in the Petroglyph, I had to reach up and look at the view from this wonderful skylight.

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In the distance you can just see the standing masonry walls carved from blocks of volcanic tuff from the earth changing eruption over a million years ago.

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It is estimated that there were more than 400 rooms in this pueblo of only about 100 people.  Many of the rooms were used mainly for food storage and pens for turkeys.

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We found a perfect spot for our third and final al fresco lunch in this magical corner of the world…

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…yes I’m eating!  That’s what picnicking is all about isn’t it?

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1 Comments

ElRay

2015-10-12 15:02:35 Reply

What a great trip! Great Picnics and even better company.

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