Bandelier National Monument, NM

Bandelier surprised me in a good way. It was bigger and more compelling than I expected, and incredibly peaceful in the early spring. The entire area of roughy 33,000 acres is located inside the Jemez Mountain region, where massive volcanic eruptions were very active about 13 million years ago. Bandelier is situated on what is basically the side of an ancient huge volcano, the Valle … Continue reading Bandelier National Monument, NM

Santa Fe, NM

I rolled into Santa Fe ready for art, culture and food, but then got derailed a bit by weather and altitude. Luckily, I understand the number one rule for positive experiences while traveling is to be flexible, so I was still able to enjoy my time there, just not in the way I was initially expecting. The altitude issue was the biggest surprise.  I wasn’t … Continue reading Santa Fe, NM

Roswell UFO Museum

This was my experience, you may have a very different impression, especially if you enjoy conspiracy theories (and I realize many do) . There are some places that I just have certain expectations about.  I’m trying to keep an open mind to accepting things as they come on this trip, but I realized I had a clear expectation for Roswell the minute I entered the … Continue reading Roswell UFO Museum

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

I am a fan of hoodoos, a geologic formation also known as a tent rock.  The reason I like them is because they look weird. That’s it. There’s a whole bunch of interesting science behind how they form that I sometimes find interesting, but on the day I went to visit these hoodoos, I just wanted to hike someplace cool.  Off to Tent Rocks it … Continue reading Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

White Sands National Monument

White Sands is the largest gypsum dunefield in the world, covering over 275 square miles of the Chihuahuan Desert with brilliant white, soft dunes. They’re located on the west side of the Tularosa Basin, between the San Andres and the Sacramento mountains. The White Sands Missile Range surrounds the monument, so the road in (US 70) is sometimes closed during missile range tests. Those closures average … Continue reading White Sands National Monument