I got up at 7:00 and ran for just 30 minutes since we hoped to be on the road by 9:00. But then I got to talking to my Uncle Bill, whose property abuts my father's property, and then Bill stopped by to talk to my father as we were finishing breakfast, so with one thing and another, we didn't get out the door until nearly 10:00.
The drive to Acoma is about an hour and a half, and other than mesas and trains, there's not a lot to see along the way.
The visitor center at the pueblo is very nice and we were just in time for a pueblo tour. I'm no fan of organized tours, but it's the only way they'll let you up there, so we didn't have much of a choice.
The pueblo sits on top of a mesa.
It's kept quite rustic, with no running water or electricity.
They didn't allow pictures of the inside of the mission church, which was very authentic, with dirt floor, original art, and no electricity. It was hard to get a picture of the outside too, but I got this view of the bell tower.
Another view of the village.
These ladders are common in the village, where homes often rest on top of one another.
This is the back side of a traditional oven. The natives no longer use these to fire their pottery, but they still cook in them sometimes.
Little home with a big view
Sunny little home on a sunny little street.
A street in Acoma.
Little houses all in a row.
I liked these stairs.
Yet another view of urban Acoma.
Looking down at abandoned buildings below.
Looking out across the rocky cliff.
Balanced rock overlooking abandoned corral.
More abandoned dwellings at the bottom of the cliff.
There were natives selling pottery at various points throughout the village. Their prices were very reasonable and we bought a lot of stuff. I was struck by how friendly the vendors were. At some of the pueblos, you get the feeling they hold a grudge, but not at Acoma.
We knocked around the pueblo for a couple hours, then hung out at the visitor center and enjoyed the pretty day.
On the road leaving the pueblo, we came across an old man selling cold drinks and silver jewelry from a sky-blue van that looked like a converted ice cream truck. He was parked in a scenic spot overlooking the valley with some great vistas.
One of the views, with Acoma way in the distance.
I love this view with the tree in the foreground.
An interesting rock formation.
On the way home we saw a wildfire in the distance.
This isn't a great picture of it, but it's what I could get once we were home. The fire is behind the mesas that run near my father's property. It's far enough away to not be a danger, but close enough that we can see and smell the smoke.
We're thinking we might leave tomorrow, but we don't yet have a plan. My youngest uncle is getting back tonight from a trip to Europe and since we missed him last year, we'd like to see him before we leave. But we're also getting antsy to move on. We're ready for the rest of this trip to be just us, doing things our own way on our own schedule. It's been nice to spend some time with my father because it seems he's always too busy or we are. But I'm also starting to get stressed out by not having any quiet time. Dan allows me my space in a way that my father does not.
We'll check in the morning if my uncle is up for a visit, and perhaps we'll stay through tomorrow night if he is. But sometime either tomorrow or the next day, we're heading south to the black range. A heat wave is about to begin and it will be cool in the mountains. There's a B&B I want to try (it has wireless internet!) and if the place is booked, there's plenty of camping in the forest.
This has been fun, cheap, and convenient, but it's time to go.