New Mexico

State and National Parks

 

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Video's of Jim and Marie

Automatic Cattle Roundup   A You Tube video on a roundup of a few of his cattle.   A visit to Sandal House an ancient ruin in the Ute Mountain Tribal Park near Mesa Verde, Colorado.  A video of Jim and Marie in a balloon crash into trees Kenya, Africa. Balloon Crash

 

   

 

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Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and Hidden Mountain

The Decalogue Stone sits below a 700 foot cliff at the base of Hidden Mountain.  Marie and I climbed up in a V shaped extremely steep wash to get to the top.  The mountain is nearly flat on top with a 360 deg view in any direction.  The boulders and cliff tops are littered with petroglyphs and collapsed rock ruins.  We hiked a full circle of the top which is about a mile long and a half mile wide.   We found a Greek inscription on a basalt boulder and more ruins and saw a Phoenician Tanit symbol just below the cliff face on the north side.  There were between 20 and 30 abandoned ruins which were obviously not of  the Ancestral Puebloen style.  I wonder if they were of Jewish or Phoenician origin?

   

 

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Tome Hill

On a recent climb to view several of the 1800 Petroglyphs on Tome Hill I think I saw a Phoenician Tanit symbol.  I reviewed several of my photos taken on a recent climb and think one of them reveals a Phoenician Tanit symbol but will have to make another climb to be absolutely certain.  It's not much of a stretch to think that the Phoenicians could have traveled from Hidden Mountain to Tome Hill a couple of thousand years ago.  This of course is valid only if the Hidden Mountain Decalogue Stone and the Tanit symbols are not a hoax.

   

 

The Land of Enchantment

 
 

 

Chaco Culture National Historic ParkPueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Pueblo Bonito, Dancers from the Laguna PuebloFrom AD 850 to 1250, Chaco was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area--unlike anything before or since.  Chaco is remarkable for its multi-storied public buildings, ceremonial buildings, and distinctive architecture.  These structures required considerable planning, designing, organizing of labor, and engineering to construct. 

June 22, 2010 marked the centennial of Richard Wetherill's murder at the Chaco Culture Ojo Alamo trading Post siteNational Historic Park by an angry Navajo.  Richard coordinated many archeological excavations headed  by Universities and other professionals at Chaco canyon and many other sites.  Richard and his siblings were some of the first in the Southwest to recognize the importance of Native American Ancestral Cultures.  The June 22 centennial was attended by Wetherill family members to honor Richard and his accomplishments.  They gathered at the grave site in the Wetherill Cemetery within the Chaco Park.  Jim Shaffner gave a short presentation in honor of Richard.  Family members in attendance were Marietta Eaton great granddaughter of Richard Wetherill, Harvey Leake great grandson Of John Wetherill, Terry Watson great granddaughter of Richard Wetherill, Lawanda Eaton Smith great granddaughter of Richard Wetherill, Rulon Wetherill great grandson of Robert Wetherill of Chester Pennsylvania, Jim Shaffner grandson of Richard Wetherill, Richard Wetherill III grandson of Richard Wetherill and Ralph friend of Wanda Eaton Smith not pictured is the Raymond Reeves family and Marie Garcia Shaffner wife of Jim Shaffner and photographer.  The next day several family members visited John Wetherill's Ojo Alamo 1900 trading post site in the Bisti Badlands. 

 Marie and I were on a field trip to the park in the summer 0f 2013 hosted by the Adventures in Anthropology group guided by Dr. Ruth Van Dyke, a renowned Chacoan scholar from Binghamton University. I took some photos from the 100 foot cliff above Pueblo Bonoto and also visited ruins a couple miles north of Pueblo Bonito on the mesa top

 

Tent Rocks National Monument 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument formed from an explosive volcanic eruption 6-7 million years ago that deposited pumice and ash which is the basis of the tent rock formations.  

Shiprock 

Shiprock is a rock formation rising nearly 1,800 feet above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation and in San Juan County,Shiprock, New Mexico New Mexico, about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak. Governed by the Navajo Nation, the formation is in the Four Corners region and plays a significant role in Navajo religion, mythology and tradition. It is located in the center of the Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Puebloan civilization, a prehistoric Native American culture of the Southwest United States often referred to as the Anasazi. Shiprock is a point of interest for rock climbers and photographers and has been featured in several film productions and novels. It is the most prominent landmark in northwestern New Mexico.   

Acoma Pueblo Sky City

Acoma Pueblo is built atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff in a valley studded with sacred, towering monoliths. Since 1150 A.D., Acoma Pueblo has earned the reputation as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America.  The mesa-top settlement is known worldwide for its unique art and rich culture

Cabezon New MexicoCabezon, New Mexico

Cabezon, New Mexico was established in about 1879 and in it's heyday had a population of 250. The Catholic Church, Iglesia de San Jose was dedicated in 1894. The church still stands and has services every few years. The town was a focal point of farming and sheep grazing. The town is privately owned by several families and should not be entered without permission.

Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

Lus Lunas Decalogue StoneThe Los Lunas Decalogue Stone sits below a 700 foot cliff at the base of Hidden Mountain.  Marie and I climbed up in a V shaped extremely steep wash to get to the top.  The mountain is nearly flat on top with a 360 deg view in any direction.  The boulders and cliff tops are littered with petroglyphs and collapsed rock ruins.  We hiked a full circle of the top which is about a mile long and a half mile wide.   We found a Greek inscription on a basalt boulder and more ruins and saw a Phoenician Tanit symbol just below the cliff face on the north side.  There were between 20 and 30 abandoned ruins which were obviously not of  the Ancestral Puebloen style.  I wonder if they were of Jewish or Phoenician origin? 

Bisti Badlands

About a half hour's drive south of Farmington, New Mexico on Rte. 371 lies the Bisti Badlands. This isHoodoo in the Bisti Badlands a wilderness area of unique geological formations and a fascinating place for photographers to visit. It is on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land and thus (fortunately) protected from mining or other forms of commercial development. The Bisti Badlands's is a vast piece of land and along with the nearby De-Na-Zin Wilderness presents a daunting prospect for exploration. There are no trails or maps or facilities and one can wander for days though this bizarre moonscape. A GPS unit is strongly suggested. Marie and I climbed the Mesa above the badlands which proved to be a mistake.  We walked several miles east on this Mesa top among undulating smooth fractured clay soil for several miles.  I noticed small one or two foot circular holes every hundred feet or so.  I dropped a clay clod into one of these and didn't hear it hit bottom. Further examination of these holes revealed that they were openings above caverns that reached the valley floor.  These holes proved to be Clay bridges which could collapse leaving one stranded and broken at the bottom of a hundred foot cavern which connected to the valley floor. 

Pueblos of the Salinas Valley

Three ancient civilizations make up the three Pueblos of thAbo National Monumente Salinas Valley, Abo, Gran Quivira and Quarai. These three pueblos have roots back as far as 7,000 years ago. In 1598 Juan De Onate financed an expedition into New Mexico and the Salinas Valley to establish a Spanish presence. In about 1670 due to Spanish interference , disease, famine and Apache raids the Pueblos were abandoned. 

Birds of New Mexico

A collection of bird photos from around Tome, New Cooper's HawkMexico and game refuges near Belen, New Mexico.  The photos in the Tome area are mostly from around my home and taken during all four seasons.  The variety of birds on our farm is tremendous.  The farm is within a mile of the Rio Grande Bosque and the Rio Grande river so is much more varied than you would except around a home.  

The Ghost Town of Chloride

The Ghost Town of Chloride New Mexico. Built in 1879 after a Silver strike was made and grew to 3000 residents. It now has about a dozen residents which cChloride, New Mexicoare for the historic buildings. A wonderful place to visit as the residents are very cordial and will be greeted as soon as you arrive.

 

San Lorenzo Canyon

San Lorenzo Canyon is part of the 130,138 acre "Arroyo de San Lorenzo” land grant awardRattlesnake  San Lorenzo Canyon, New Mexicoed in late 1825 to Antonio Chavez. It was purchased by Anastacio Garcia, Ramon Luna and Rafael Luna in 1850 from the Antonio Chavez family. The San Lorenzo Canyon was a small part of the land grant. The photo of the Western Diamond rattlesnake was taken with a telephoto lens.  It would be very unwise to get closer than 20 feet to this variety of snake.  They are not afraid of humans and can crawl faster than you can run. The strike position and sound of the snake's rattle's is merely a warning to stay away.