For the last few weeks I have wanted to go do something new. See the mountains, go to a lake, camp or something like that. Yesterday we woke up and Lynn said we should go to the mountains or a lake. I was excited and said let’s go! So we packed up the blue van and headed for town.
I have wanted to see Bandelier for a long time. So I looked up directions on Google Maps and off we went. I was excited that the route took us right past Cochiti Lake. We have wanted to go see that lake, to know if it would be a good place to go play.
So we stopped at Cochiti Lake and looked at the campground and swim areas. We can’t wait to go camping there now.
After we looked over the campground and got excited planning our trip to Cochiti Lake we got back on the road.
A side note about Google maps: it gives you the shortest route to where you want to go even if that takes you around the back of a mountain to the back “entrance” of a national monument.
As we headed down the road we pass this rough dirt road, and my phone said do a U-turn. With some trepidation I turned back and got on the dirt road.
The road was not so bad, but there were some steep cliffs and we were driving through some of the worst burned areas from last year’s fire. After about an hour on the dirt road the map brought us to a dead end road that is the back entrance to Bandelier. It was a burned out mountain in the middle of nowhere. There is a sign that says Bandelier National Monument and that was it. Lynn laughed at my trust in a gadget. In fact she was almost rolling in the dirt laughing at me going on about how Bandelier is supposed to be this beautiful canyon and here we are on top of a mountain that has been ravaged by fire. Luckily I had looked at the website for Bandelier and it said that the shuttle buses were running from White Rock. So I figured I would have my phone get us to White Rock and we would find Bandelier from there.
Lynn says: The road was not that bad? You had to stop to get over some of those rocks and ruts! If we were not in the big van we would have high centered many times!
The road we turned on took us right past Bandelier, the part we wanted to see. So we pulled into the campground to recover from our mountain drive and then have a snack.
Then we took the shuttle down into the canyon.
The canyon was really neat we had lots of fun seeing the abandoned indian homes. The people that had lived there made caves in the volcanic tuff. They have some ladders that the kids can climb into the caves and they really enjoyed getting to see the park.
There are some really neat ruins of a couple of housing complexes. The long house:
We did not have much time to get up to Alcove House so we are looking forward to going again.
We then took the bus back up to the campground for dinner.
We had a lot of fun and are looking forward to another adventure.