Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NV

We got up this morning (Thursday, 1/26) and before leaving Albuquerque, we stopped by the Petroglyph NM on the western edge of town.  Now after traveling throughout the southwest the past coupe years and visiting some beautiful Parks & monuments, we have seen our share of petroglyphs.  I guess we've been spoiled.  We just were not impressed with the petroglyphs in PNM. 
Here is the front of the visitor's center.  The old house used to belong to the Brophy family.  From the NPS website:  Dr. Sophie Aberle, known as "Measuring Lady" by the Native Americans she worked with, was the first practicing applied anthropologist in the United States. Her research focused mainly on women's lives at the pueblos, including pregnancy, child birth, child care, diet and healing. Because of her position as Superintendent of the United Pueblo's Agency, she was able to implement practices which led to better conditions in the pueblos.  Sometime around 1954 - 1956, Dr. Aberle and her husband, attorney William Brophy, purchased an adobe-style home on what is now known as Albuquerque's West Mesa. The home was first built by Col. Alexander Stewart, in about 1948, as a homestead property. The original house, most probably, consisted of today's visitor area and conference room.
Historic photo of visitor center
Above is what the Brophy house looked like in the early '50's.
 All of our pics of the 'glyphs were from the Rinconada Canyon area only.  There about four different areas (canyons) where the petroglyphs are found.  We only hiked into the Rinconada Canyon.
 Above, looking east back towards Albuquerque.
 Below, you just Nancy walking up ahead of me.
We walked back to MH, hooked up the Jeep and headed out town towards Flagstaff on I-40.  We didn't make it all the way, so we pulled into Walmart in Winslow, about 40 miles east of Flagstaff.  And no, I didn't "stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona", but it was "such a fine sight to see" the beautiful sunset from the parking lot.  Check these pics out.
So we got up Friday morning and drove on towards Las Vegas.  As we crossed the new bridge at Boulder City, Nancy squeezed off a couple of pics from the MH window of the dam area and Lake Mead.  Here's one.
OK, we finally made it to Nellis Air Force Base RV Park (Desert Eagle) around 4 in the afternoon Friday.  We just stayed in and fixed us some guacamole and some black bean soup and ham slices.  Too tired to do much else, plus I have a cold.  Can't remember where I got it from.  I feel pretty lousy.
 One of our favorite shows on DISH satellite, is Pawn Stars.  We also like American Pickers and American Restoration Warehouse.  Well, above is the storefront for the Pawn Stars on Las Vegas Blvd, just north of the giant Stratosphere tower.  I wanted to stop by and say hello to Chumley, Rick & Cory & the Old Man.  But as you can see, the line just to get in the place as around the block.  Ridiculous.  Needless to say, we just drove on out to the Lake Mead area and went for a Jeep ride.
Below, the Stratosphere. You know people bungy jump down this tower?
And there's a roller coaster up on top of it.  No way!
And below is Insanity, which is a ride that dangles it's riders off the edge of the tower.  NO WAY!  In fact, no way would I even ride an elevator this far up, or down!
And on our way out to Lake Mead, we drove past Rick's American Restoration facility off Commerce Street.
Above, just east of the Strip on our way to Lake Mead Rec area.  Which we never made it to, as we stayed too long on our Jeep ride off road. 
 Up in the hills, looking west down into Vegas.  It was a little hazy today.  We were about ten miles from the strip.
Yours truly, walking around the hills east of Vegas on our Jeep ride.  Jeeps really can get you to places where most folks can't get to.  We love ours. 
So, ends our stay in the Vegas area.  In the morning we'll get up, fuel up the MH and head for Edwards Air Frce Base for an overnighter, and then on into Paso Robles Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon we should arrive in the Monterey area for about two weeks.  Till our next blog, RVing Beach Bums.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Roswell to Albuquerque, NM

Our drive from Roswell was uneventful.  We drove up Hwy 285 all the way to I40 and then on into Albuquerque.  We are staying at Kirtland Air Force Base FamCamp.  Very nice;  cold, but sunny both days.  We came through here to see a couple of National Monuments, Bandelier, Pecos, and Petroglyph.  Wednesday morning, 1/25, we drove the Jeep up I-25 north past Sante Fe and Los Alamos Research Center and into Bandelier NM.  As you can from the pic above, and others that will follow, it had just snowed the day before, and can be seen in a lot of our pics.  Brrrr!  It wasn't bad though, about 50 and sunny, and a little breeze.
From Wiki:  Bandelier National Monument is a 33,677 acres (13,629 ha) National Monument preserving the homes of the Ancestral Pueblo People. It is named after Swiss anthropologist Adolph Bandelier, who researched the cultures of the area. Bandelier was designated a National Monument on February 11, 1916, and most of its backcountry became a "designated wilderness" in October 1976.
Above, you can see a person walking among the canyon floor remnants of the pueblo community.  And just to the person's left, you can see one of the three Kivas that were used for various ceremonies and rituals by the community.
 Some, if not most of the structures are reconstructed and preserved for future enjoyment of the visitors and researchers.  Some of the cliffside structures were up to four stories high.  Verification of this can be seen by the supporting roof beam hole-supports in the sides of the cliffs.  Some of those hole supports can be seen in our pics below.  Here I am trying to be serious in one of the cliffside residences.  :-)
 Above, Nancy taking a break in front of "Long House".  Below, some of the support holes of the floor/roof log beams.
 On my way down the trail steps, I napped a pic of Nancy, and below, I am in the dwelling looking out at her.
 There were a few etchings and petroglyphs in the cliff walls.  Some have been preserved from the lava eroding from the elements.
We finished up our visit to Bandelier, which was a very nice break from our long drive across our beautiful country, and headed about 60 miles away to Pecos Pueblo National Historic Park.  This Park is located on the other side of Santa Fe from Bandelier, but still northeast of Albuquerque. 
From Wiki: 
Pecos National Historical Park is a National Historical Park in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The site was originally designated Pecos National Monument on June 28, 1965. In 1990 new lands were added to the park and the official designation was changed to Pecos National Historical Park. It includes the Pecos Pueblo, a National Historic Landmark.  Pecos National Historical Park is composed of several noncontiguous units. The main unit of the park preserves the ruins of Pecos Pueblo. The first Pecos pueblo was one of two dozen rock-and-mud villages built in the valley around AD 1100 in the prehistoric Pueblo II Era. Within 350 years the Pueblo IV Era Pecos village had grown to house over 2,000 people in its five-storied complex.

 Up on the hill away from the dwellings was the remnants of a very large mission structure.  The original structure was abandoned and eroded into nearly nothing, but was later rebuilt when the Spanish returned late in the 1600's to settle for good.  The second structure was built right on top of the original foundation, but was larger.
 It was now late in the afternoon and cool breeze was now discouraging us from walking through the dwelling part of the Pueblo.  We limited our visit to the Mission area only.  Hence, our pics cover only that area.
Between the mission and the dwellings which were about 500 yards away in the lower canyon, was a very large Kiva.  And here we are "hamming" it up a bit. 
 Above is a pic from within the Kiva.
Well, here we are at the end of another blog, and the end of our stay at Kirtland AFB.  We will drive the MH to Petroglyph NM this morning, Thursday and we hope they room for us to park there.  We will do our hiking-thing through the Monument and then drive on toward Flagstaff, AZ.  Probably won't make it all the way, as it's about 300 miles.  So, till the next blog, Joe & Nancy as the RVing Beach Bums.