Travel Tips & Adventures

Real People. Real Travel.

Archive for August, 2009

Travel to Ancient Graffiti – New Mexico Petroglyphs

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Today, those who leave graffiti as a reminder of their existence might use paint.  

Centuries ago, scratching laboriously into stone surfaces with hand made tools, native people left designs we call petroglyphs.  Scratched into the surface, Native Americans left behind images that can be easily figured out and some that are mysterious. 

Human form

Human form


Friday Favorites: Buster’s Restaurant – won’t bust your budget

Friday, August 28th, 2009

After a hard day hiking at Walnut Canyon (see August 20) we headed back to Flagstaff, Arizona, the nearest city, to eat. Since it was only 4:00 PM, not every dinner place was open. We were pleasantly surprised to find Buster’s Restaurant & Bar open and thronging. (more…)

Where the Bomb Was Born – Travel to Los Alamos

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Last week, I began a three part series on what to do when you’re not invited to the same seminar as your wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Hopping in the car with a bag of chips and an assortment of “beverages of my choice,” I headed north out of the city on US 285/84 until reaching NM 502 and then west to NM 4.

The first stop was the cliffside dwellings of Bandelier National Monument. This week, I am leaving Bandelier for a short drive to Los Alamos. As you pull out of the park entrance, a left will put you west on NM 4, then north on NM 501 will put you at the west end of the town of Los Alamos.


Travel to the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

By Guest Author Peggy Bradshaw

The Native Heritage Center, located outside of Anchorage, Alaska, introduces you to native traditions and customs of both the past and the present. We stopped there on our way from Whittier to Anchorage. (more…)

Life Woven into Navajo Weaving: Southwest Skills Displayed

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Rose Big Horse was asked to demonstrate her weaving skills at the Wupatki National Monument in Arizona recently. Her efforts and designs are part of a long tradition in her Navajo Tribal family.

Rose shows traditional family storm pattern

Rose shows traditional family "storm" pattern

Although her weaving time is confined to evenings and her spare time, the intricacy and proficiency of her work is exceptional. She learned the skill from her mother, who is a published author on weaving. Her mother’s special pattern is called the “storm” pattern. If you think that these works are easy, you would be wrong: it can take a year to produce one rug. (more…)

Travel to Wupatki National Monument: Pueblos of the Past

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Passing Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (see last week – August 17), travel through a landscape of scrub brush and lava rock and you reach Wupatki National Monument.

Wupatki Pueblo - part of the 100-room ancient community

Wupatki Pueblo - part of the 100-room ancient community

Wupatki’s 100-room pueblo, built of intricate stone and clay mortar, housed a resourceful and hard-working Native American population who lived in Northern Arizona over 800 years ago. They farmed, created pottery, and lived in large communities. Water was a scarce commodity and they conserved it carefully. (more…)

Friday Favorites: Travel to an Enchanted Place – Broadway

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Except for my home, I have rarely spent as many hours anywhere as I did in one particular place in New York City. That one place is known as Broadway.

Beyond the physical place, New York City, where theater is the center of the universe and 40 theaters are in a concentrated area, Broadway is a state of mind. Once you’ve been treated to a Broadway show, you’re hooked for life – at least I was.
My very first Broadway show, a special occasion with my grandmother, was The Sound of Music, starring Mary Martin. Dressed up, as people used to be to attend the performances, I settled into my plush seat. The house lights went down. Then, the enchantment began. Acting, sets, the orchestra, songs – they all combined magically. I left the theater singing one of the tunes and a confirmed theater-lover. (more…)

Walnut Canyon: Very Healthy Ancient People

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

When we visited Walnut Canyon National Monument this past weekend, we were alerted that there were 240 steps down – and up – from the visitor center to the Loop Trail where we could see the homes of ancient people carved out of steep hillsides.

240 steps – each way, up and down – was quite a strenuous trip to reach the top! When Sinagua people inhabited the cliff dwellings of Walnut Canyon 800 years ago, they must have been part mountain goat – and they didn’t have paved steps and paths! Although I consider myself fairly physically fit, the altitude, 7,000 feet, coupled with the demanding climb of 185 feet, I reached the visitor center panting with my heart pounding.


RV Parks in the Western USA

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

By Guest Author Peggy Bradshaw

When you are traveling to all of these great places out west, if you want to be economical, you might bring your RV.  Here are some places to stay…

The KOA Campgrounds across the country are usually very nice and well run.  One of the nicest is the one in Las Cruces, NM.  There are trees and a cement pad at every site and most are pull-thru, making it easier to get your rig in and out.   The Las Cruces campground has a wonderful pool and picnic/barbeque area, and a grassy area for those with tents.  The general store and gift shop offers western and native wares for purchase, along with restocking your rig.


Bandelier National Monument: Travel Back in Time

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

What to do when the wife is in a conference in Santa Fe?  Abscond with the rental car and take a little trip around northern New Mexico, that’s what! 

It was sort of a last minute idea, so I looked at a map to see what I could do in a day.  Two towns, and a national monument sounded feasible, so I dropped her off and I headed out.


First stop – Bandelier National Monument (more…)