The ladder is the entrance to a cave that minutes before looked like a wall of Swiss cheese. Truth is I wanted to gather the children along the way and pretend to be a canyon mouse living in a giant Swiss-cheese haven. Gosh, maybe an imaginary friend would help me climb into the night and bring home the “diamond in the sky”.
It’s NOT pretend. It is here the Ancestral Pueblo people made their home for 400 years.
The petroglyphs of the long house seem to commemorate events, changing seasons, or inclement weather. Some believe it might be a newspaper of daily life, and since many of the symbols are hard to make sense of, we can welcome their early attempts at blogging. I know I do.
Alcove House is a ceremonial cave 140’ up the side of the rock cliff. Four ladders later, I think how difficult it must have been to carry water and tools to the top. What about the busy toddlers? A fourteen story cliff certainly takes the nervous mother to the edge, but I imagine children learned to climb before they walked. Hopefully, new families were privy to the first floor, and chances are it was all relative to a hierarchy.
Bandelier is a distant place…only because of time. To walk in the footsteps of this ancient Pueblo civilization, is all the ambiance needed to know they were here. Evidence dictates a relocation to the Rio Grande in the 1500’s. Was it over-hunted game, flash floods that are a consequence of canyon living, or just change? Whatever it was, there is a sense of spirituality that remains. The wind-sculpted rocks peer down into the canyon like a totem sent by its early settlers and the river still flows, centuries later.
Ok. history aside. It is simply fun to climb cliff walls, explore once inhabited caves, and squeeze into the dwellings with a sigh of-relief at not having a Winnie the Pooh (stuck in Rabbit’s hole) moment. And, ya know…I think it might be fun to fall asleep wrapped in a turkey feather blanket…..just once.
Their little corner of the world? Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Still humbled by this beautiful country we call home. Thanks for coming along.