The Wubbulous World of Meow Wolf

Recently I went to Meow Wolf with one of my friends. It is an art museum located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is a relatively new museum that opened on March 17th, 2016. It features interactive, modern art created by local artists. It’s honestly an amazing experience. It is completely different from any other museum I have ever been to. While there, the gloomy, late fall weather ceased to exist. It transported me into another world entirely! I would highly recommend going, regardless of your age or artistic background.

20170114_163753

The main exhibit is a called The House of Eternal Return, which is the 20,000 ft permanent exhibit. It has a mystery about it that you can figure out as you explore. Unlike, any other museum I have ever been to, you can touch everything! The direction given is unless it is explicitly stated not to you can touch anything, and if you can open a door, then you can go through it. It’s purpose is to be interactive and immersive.

I haven’t fully figured out the story behind it… yet. However, the process of figuring it out is fascinating. Opening drawers, reading posters, flipping through photographs, notebooks, and binders, clicking through the computer… All of these are ways to piece together what happened. Note: Don’t forget about the mailbox as soon as you walk into the exhibit. There is so much, it is actually way too much for just one trip.

I will be pretty vague about what I do know, because figuring out what is going on yourself his half the fun. What I will say is that it is about a family who have scientific and possibly supernatural powers for interdimensional travel. There are two agencies that are CIA that they are involved with in various ways. Also, some incident happened that morphed the way time and reality work in and around the house.

If you loved Tim Burton as a kid, than this place will make you feel like an 8 year old all over again. Think Beetlejuice, Alice in Wonderland, and Endor from Star Wars. The rooms pretty much all loop to each other which makes it feel like a labyrinth. Of course without the whole wandering around for hours with the fear of never getting out in the back of your mind. Everything is so colorful and warped. In each section there is different sounds, music, and things to read. I could probably spend days there and not get sick of it.

4176_148193615843120170114_120147

4184_1481937445652img_20170108_155645_035-1img_20170115_230733_418img_20170111_175111_618

I don’t want to explain it in too much detail for two reasons. First, because not knowing what is around the next corner makes the experience even better. Second, because it is impossible to properly explain. It is one of those places that every explanation falls vastly short of the reality.

To find out about ticket prices, location, events, and hours here is a link to their website: https://meowwolf.com/

If you liked what you read and want to interact with me more please check out my Facebook,Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.

Photos by me and Sierra Strebe.

Advertisements

Tent Rocks National Monument

Recently a group of friends and I went to Tent Rocks National Monument. This was my first time there, and I can tell you that it was worth the drive. I have already done quite a bit of traveling in New Mexico (which I have documented for you here), and my goal is to thoroughly explore all that it has to offer. It never ceases to amaze me with its beauty and diversity.

Before I received the inviting text, I previously had no knowledge that this place even existed. I was excited to go somewhere new in the state where I grew up.

Tent Rocks is located in Cochiti, New Mexico which is in between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The hiking trail is about 2.8 miles from start to finish. It is not an very difficult trail. Especially if you bring plenty of water and snacks. It took us about 3 hours to complete.

Moth Pink Flowers Tent Rocks Image 6 Yellow Flower

We went early in the morning so that we would go before the crowds and heat arrived.

Tent Rocks Image 7

This was one of the most unique hikes that I had been on. There were several places where the trail weaved through walls of pumice and tuff.

Tent Rocks Image 4 Tent Rocks Image 5

There were also several places where rocks formed natural steps in the trail. The long series of stairs that leads to the highest point of the hike was the most difficult part, but the view was breathtaking.

Tent Rocks Image 1 Tent Rocks Image 2 Tent Rocks Image 3

The entire hike was so beautiful. It was easily one of my favorites so far. I would love to go again sometime.

I highly recommend going if you plan on being in this area. It takes less than half a day to completely experience the monument. If you go close to opening, you will be on your way down by the time most people are just beginning their ascent.

If you liked what you read and want to interact with me more please check out my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.

Also, one of my friends who went with me on this hike has a blog as well. She wrote about her experience, and took plenty of pictures. If you want to check out her post about Tent Rocks I am leaving a link here. Let her know that I sent you over!

81 Feet Below

Did you know the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico is an artesian well filled with cold, clear water and completely circular?

When I heard that I had to see for myself. I was already taking a road trip around the state so I thought “What’s one more destination?”

I can assure you there is a reason it is one of the top SCUBA destinations in the U.S. The water is a Caribbean blue right down to the bottom. It has the cleanest water I have ever been in, and the coldest. It is a mere 64 degrees Fahrenheit. That did not stop anyone from making a splash. Kids were jumping off protruding rocks into the edge of the freezing water and several people were taking SCUBA lessons in the center.

The one time hatchery is now a full time watering hole. It is not everyday you find something like this naturally existing in the desert. It was so beautiful. A true desert oasis whether you like to swim, dive, or both.

 

Divers out for the first time.

Divers out for the first time.

 

My brother was quite shocked at the low temperature.

My brother was quite shocked at the low temperature. It took him a few tries before he could get in.

Later that day we went to Park Lake which was right down the road from the Blue Hole. This is by far the most family friendly swimming hole in the area. It has a swimming area complete with a dock and diving board. Kids enjoyed jumping off of the low dive into water much warmer than that of the Blue Hole. As if swimming wasn’t enough entertainment, there also was a water slide.

20140627_142814

20140627_121300

The water slide was a blast, and so were the pedal boats which can be seen in the back round.

If you are ever in the Santa Rosa area it is worth taking a day to explore the water features.

As summer draws to a close, I have been looking through all of the photos from the past few months and I don’t feel that this summer has been wasted. Most people scoffed at the idea of staying local. I, however, had a fabulous time exploring the place I have called home my entire life despite the criticism. I challenge you to pick a place that you have never been in your state and take the next opportunity to have a little adventure. You will not regret it.

Thanks for reading!!

Grasslands, Antelope, and Cannons?

The sense of being small. Like an ant on a basketball court. The feeling of being surrounded by vast plains is one I’ll never forget. I have never felt so minute. Looking in every direction yellow grass stretched out in front of me as far as I could see. Large rolling hills covered in prairie grass rose and fell in all directions. If I were to walk out there I could become lost and vanish. It would be like I never existed. I’ve read in books about the impression that this type of landscape gives people, but I could never relate. In a world that has gotten so small, I could not imagine it feeling so big. I’ve seen the desert, I’ve seen the ocean, but the prairie is what struck me.

What was I doing out there? Not getting lost that’s for sure! I was visiting Fort Union National Park. The first thing I noticed, besides the boundless landscape, was the colossal structures that made up this Civil War era Fort. I could not believe that men were able to build so many massive adobe buildings in 1862. The Fort was so large a surrounding wall was not needed.

All that is left of Officer’s Row is a string of decayed apartments where ranking officers would live with their families. In the picture below this small living space was shared by two families. When I say small, I mean tiny, like cramped apartment tiny.

Officer's Row apartment

Officer’s Row apartment

There are quite a few of these quarters in a line making up Officer’s Row.

The chimney on officer's row

A chimney on officer’s row

The privy, which is connected to one of the store houses. Fort Union was surprisingly sanitary.

The privy, which is connected to one of the store houses. Fort Union was surprisingly sanitary.

The view through the store houses.

The view through the store houses.

I wish I could impress upon you how huge these storage structures are. However, I think the only way to grasp that is by seeing them for yourself. I will say that the size is mind blowing. Remember these were made in the 1860s during the Civil War. No mechanical cranes or power tools here. Just man power and ingenuity.

The jailhouse

The jailhouse has best resisted weathering

The Ft. Union hospital.

Ft. Union hospital.

The hospital was located a short distance from the center of the fort in order to prevent the spreading of disease from the patients to the other occupants. Out of 852 officers treated only 4 died. Fort Union had the best hospital in the area.

This was my experience at Fort Union as well as some quick facts and pics. I highly recommend you take some time to visit this park. It will not be a waste of time.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Here is a quick pic of an antelope I spotted on the drive out:

2014-07-26 15.03.49

Into the Wild!

I have wanted to write about my hike in the Las Vegas NM Wildlife Refuge, but have been suffering from severe writer’s block. Even though I am still struggling with it I will do my best to push through.

During my stay in Las Vegas, New Mexico I visited the Wildlife Refuge just outside of town. Bring plenty of water and a hat for shade on the hike because it gets hot!

The trail head is a rarely used path that weaves its way across the grasslands. As a warning pay close attention to where the trail is because there was a few times I had to backtrack to find it again. It takes about 3 hours to complete the 2 mile hike. It leads out across the open, down into a canyon, loops around and back up the canyon, and out the way you came. Wherever you look there are stunning views. What is so unique is that the trail leads through the part of New Mexico where forest meets grasslands.

2014-07-18 23.21.33

The trail then leads to the canyon where the ground is made of rock. (This is where the trail is easy to lose because it is marked on either side by a string of rocks.) This entire section serves as a lookout point.

The view from the top of the canyon.

The view from the top of the canyon.

The farther I hiked the more forest like the terrain became. There were also more creatures like this little guy.

The park rangers said they are not sure what this guy turns into.

The park rangers said they are not sure what this guy turns into.

I had no idea New Mexico could be so beautiful and have so many shades of green.

20140625_095644

20140625_095751

20140625_100232

20140625_100305

20140625_103902

20140625_105943

One of my favourite features of any hike is water and this one did not disappoint.

20140625_101717

IMG_20140705_132920

There is not much left to say other than that it was a wonderful hike with many different features and I would recommend it if you are in to that sort of thing.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

P.S. Links are on my contacts page to my Facebook, Google+, etc so go check them out!

Viva Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is known for its lights, shows, and gambling, but what if I told you I spend my day touring buildings from the wild west? You would probably be confused until I told you I spent the day in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Most people never give this small historic town a thought, let alone consider it for a vacation spot. They would be right in choosing another place if they are looking for loud music, flashing lights, and theme park rides. However, those looking for a more relaxed and educational vacation, or just love the wild west, would be well advised to give it a chance.

Las Vegas has well preserved the feel of it’s rougher days during the late 1800s. Walking around the Old Town Plaza you can easily imagine horse drawn wagons rumbling to a stop while people gather in hushed expectation to listen to General Kearny’s speech declaring New Mexico as a United States Territory. Many of the original buildings have been restored and are used as shops, restaurants, or (like the Plaza Hotel and First National Bank) for their original purpose. I picked up a free pamphlet at the front desk of my hotel which had a self guided tour of the historic districts. One of my favourite days of the trip ensued.

Here are a few pictures and quick facts from the Old Town Plaza.

Side note: All of the buildings in the Plaza were build before 1920.

Veeder Building 1880

Veeder Building (1880) is a commercial building with an apartment on the second floor.

Stern and Nahm Dry Goods Store

Stern and Nahm Dry Goods Store (1885) has large display windows through which you can see a large assortment of antique odds and ends.

 

The Romero Building build in 1919 is the last large building to be built in the Plaza.

The Romero Building build in 1919 is the last large building to be built in the Plaza.

2014-07-06 16.23.48

First National Bank (1880) is unique because its ornamentation is made of local sandstone.

I have saved my favourite building for last.

The Plaza Hotel (1882)

The Plaza Hotel (1882)

This was the first hotel in Las Vegas and was considered the jewel of the town. It has seen guests like Romaine Fielding and the Mama Lucy Gang. Today it has been fully restored and is a operational hotel which you can stay in. I didn’t get the chance on this trip, but I suppose there is always next time. Even though I was not a guest there, I was able to walk around inside. I felt like I was in a John Wayne movie. It was incredible how the feel of the wild west is so well preserved.

I would highly recommend making a trip to this beautiful town. The only regret I have is that I was not able to stay longer! I look forward to going back and touring the other historical districts I did not have time to see. You can expect a day of site seeing, shopping, and eating when you stroll around this charming town.

I look forward to telling you more about where I went on my summer road trip.

As always thanks for reading!

 

Walking through history

I had the opportunity to visit Pecos National Historic Park. That was my first time visiting the park. Right from the start I was excited to see the Pecos pueblo ruins up close, but I had no idea that it would be such a historical jewel. The ruins trail is about 1.25 miles long and took about 2 hours from start to finish.

I bought a trail guide which had a map and excerpts for a self guided tour. After just a few minutes of walking the beauty of the natural environment became evident. A beautiful, green mountain valley stretched out from both sides of the paved trail. I never would have thought New Mexico could be so fertile!

The ruins that I was able to tour was part of the South Pecos Pueblo. There was also a North Pecos Pueblo, but there wasn’t a trail for that one. The path led right through the heart of the pueblo plaza. I could see the remains of the second story, 600 room building.

Fortress-like ruins from the village plaza (1400s)

Fortress-like ruins from the village plaza (1400s)

In the 1600s the Spanish came and built a church. This burnt down when the Pecos Indians revolted in 1680. However, the Christian friars built another church to replace it. The ruins that are being restored are from this second church.

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciuncula (18th Century)

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciuncula (18th Century)

Convento rooms. This is where the priests lived and worked.

Convento rooms. This is where the priests lived and worked.

The last point in the pueblo was a restored Kiva. This was my favorite part of the park because… You can go down inside it!! This. Was. Awesome! Kivas served as ceremonial rooms. The native people thought of everything in the construction of these rooms. A kiva is a cool, round, underground room complete with vents to let in fresh air and a deflector to protect the fire from the draft.

Kiva

Kiva

Woah I'm in a kiva!

Woah I’m in a kiva!

That was day number 2 of my summer road trip! This was my favorite stop so far. I can’t wait to continue my adventure tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!