We started our jaunt in Aztec NM where we walked the ruins of an Aztec village. There are still parts of several buildings standing. The kiva or meeting house has been rebuilt and is used today. Our next stop was in Shiprock NM and wasn't actually a stop. More like a drive through and quick look. I think the drawing factor here is the large rock formation which is off limits to everyone. We stayed in Farmington NM on Friday evening and had dinner at a very quaint restaurant/bookshop that has live music on Friday night. If you are ever in Farmington make sure you make a stop at Andrea Kristinas. It is well worth the visit. There was a four piece guitar group playing the evening that we were there and the lead singer sounded very much like Eric Clapton. Combine that with a good sandwich and soup and you will have a very enjoyable 2 hour visit.
Saturday morning we did a little shopping in an antique store in Farmington and then moved on to Gallup for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. We grabbed a bite to eat when we arrived in Gallup at a great Hispanic restaurant called Virgie's. We had eaten there two years ago and it is just as good now. I did not take any pictures at the Ceremonial as they don't turn out well from the distance at which we were sitting. The dancing lasted for almost 4 hours with tribes from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mexico. The Buffalo Dancers from Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) are one of my favorites and they are just down the road from our pueblo. I had seen them on two previous occasions but had made no association as we were still living in Tularosa and did not know the pueblos in this area.
Sunday morning we slept in a bit as we were out late Saturday. We had breakfast in Gallup in a restaurant called Earls, which is also a must for anyone going to Gallup. The Native Americans come around to your table while you are eating to show you their handicrafts in the hope that you will have money left from the ceremonial and be able to buy something. Their work is lovely and it is hard to resist buying something from each one of them. We left Gallup after breakfast and headed out on the scenic back roads to the Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave. I find it hard to believe that northern New Mexico has 29 inactive volcanos. You can see 15 of them from the top of Bandera. The photo below is one of the areas where the lava flow was 10,000 years ago. Also below is a picture of the ice lake that has formed inside of one of one of the caves formed by the molten lava. The temperature is a constant 31 degrees inside the cave area and the water is frozen to a depth of 20 feet. The really odd part is that you aren't down below ground level very far even though you are on the side of a mountain. The temperature drops rather suddenly on the way down the steps to the cave. It is really something to see. I went to Mammouth Cave in Kentucky when I was in my 20's and don't remember seeing anything like this. No one had to rock either of us to sleep that night. The next day we took Lea to the airport for the flight back to Florida and then went to a feast with dancing in the Santa Clara Pueblo.
Later that same evening while we were at home eating dinner we experienced yet another "pleasure" of living in a 100+ year old adobe. We lost part of the electric in the house. Not all lights on one circuit, but just those that drew a lot of power. Lasted about 30 minutes and then everything went back to normal (if there is such a thing). Around 11:30 the electricity went off again and this time stayed off. Our landlord and the electric company showed up this morning and found that one of the 110 leads going into the house had burned out. So wiring had to be replaced and finally at 2:30 this afternoon we had power again. This may be the last straw. I don't even want to think about what will go wrong this winter. Oh - I almost forgot - when I was working at the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon a centipede fell out of the vigas ceiling on to my kitchen counter and ran behind the microwave. My husband the bug killer dispatched it to a higher plain............What's next ??