Day 7: I drove up into the canyons around Santa Fe yesterday, where you see the kind of scenery found on postcards. I wanted to see the Pueblo cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Park. Turns out you can’t drive your car into the park in the middle of the day, but a 25-minute shuttle ride will take you up there. I don’t care for buses, to say nothing of one straining to make it up and down a mountain. Took a Dramamine, got on the bus.
The shuttle drops you off at a visitor’s center, and from there you have to walk up about a mile to the site. The dwellings are caves cut out of the volcanic rock about a thousand years ago. You can climb up wooden ladders and look inside. I hate heights. I climbed the ladders. There weren’t a lot of other people up there, so it was a little lonely, but peaceful and quite moving.
I decided to take the nature trail coming back down, which is a little longer hike and there are numerous signs reminding you to “Stay On The Path.” Like I’d leave the path. Rounded a curve and startled a snake lying in my way. I think it was just a garter snake, as I have seen them in my basement. Normally I might have let out a little scream, but he slithered away pretty quickly. Also, I was under the influence of Dramamine.
Then I ran across this deer, who was chewing something and showed no interest in me at all. At least I think it was a deer. Why does it have such long ears?
I was happy to see the visitors’ center again, although I’m really glad I went to see the cliff dwellings. Drove back down into Santa Fe, got a little lost. I fear I am slowly becoming the weary traveler. Perhaps a day of shopping will help?