Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Farm, Chaco Canyon and farewell to New Mexico

dateline: Grand Canyon
Some of this is out of chronological order because we were busy living instead of writing, and the photos took a very long time to
download from the camera. [Some photos are taken from my iPhone and others, the ones which took so long, are from our Sony digital camera.] We also want to thank everyone who's visiting the site and commenting or emailing us with comments. It's fun to have the connection to home.

Kaibabs not withstanding, here is the only jackalope we have seen on the trip. I guess they've moved to South America. It was situated on the corner of a large furniture and decorative arts shopping area in Santa Fe, not far from our hotel. Postcards have also been scarce (in Farmington, only Walmart carried them; sadly we didn't visit there). After another delicious breakfast at Chocolate Maven, whose staff also packed sandwiches for our supper, we left Santa Fe in caravan with Moria, Crystal and Wink to El Guique. On the way we drove through San Juan Pueblo, native land, and a very pretty town in the river washes. That afternoon Steve conveniently was working at the Seeds of Change farm and Moria showed us around. It is the most well organized and beautiful farm I have ever seen. There are no livestock, but the fruit trees were well maintained, the irrigation system organized [right], fields plowed, the greenhouses tidy and the offices/ seed area [above right] professionally managed. The farm is an old one in the Rio Grande valley and has terrific water rights. Still, it is arid farming in the high desert, and the nights are still too cold for seedlings to be outside yet. Alice found Santa Fe to be challenging because of the elevation and the hotel room stimulated allergies. So, with sunblock, hats, medicine, plenty of clothing coverage and staying in the car, caution prevailed and all was well. Moria also showed us some petroglyphs up the road from the farm, probably from Pueblo people. As in Chaco, spiral patterns were frequent. Do spirals mean water is here?
Saying goodbye with promises to converge on San Mateo in a year, we drove north to Abiquiu and turned toward Farmington at the dam (earlier picture). This, too, was beautiful juniper/pinyon forest land and we drove by the road to Chaco Canyon where we had visited on Sunday, March 23 with Sarah and Tory. We felt we had a good experience of the beautiful landscape of northern New Mexico.

We arrived back at Farmington on Wednesday night, where Sarah and Tory graciously put us up for one last night--we had another good conversation, this ti
me with the addition of their friend Simon, born in Albuquerque, and whose Chavez family has roots in New Mexico going back hundreds of years. He still manages their historic family farm south of Albuquerque, as well as working as an industrial safety educator.

So here are some impressions of Chaco Canyon taken by Jim. The first is a view of Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the complexes in this canyon. The second is the largest kiva with Sarah and Tory on the rim to give you an idea of the monumental scale of these buildings. Finally below left is Alice's favorite, Jim's shooting through the doorways at Pueblo Bonita. A midday day visit at this time of year without cloud cover is very sunny and reminded Alice of being at UC Irvine, where she never went outside between 10am and 2pm. We had been warned about possible cold temperatures, but there was nothing remotely like that this day.

Sarah and both Torys, younger and elder, were un
failingly good humored, humorous, thoughtful and very hospitable. Here is a charming photo of the Teofanov/Larsen duo standing before their front door, designed by Sarah [photo credit from T/L archive]. It meant a lot to reconnect with them, and we hope to see them in Seattle before long.

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