Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bandelier NM

From Kasha-Katuwe NM we drove to Bandelier NM, where we camped. As soon as we set up our tent, the campground hosts came to us and warned us that the previous night a rattlesnake was spotted few meters away from our site. Therefore, they suggested that we should move to other site.

I was in favor of staying where we were, but my husband seemed to be freaked out by the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake and insisted on moving the tent. So I let him picked the new campsite. He went for the one with basically no trees and bushes, as according to him snakes like to live in the tree branches and they could jump down on us... Well, we were saved from the snakes falling down on our heads, but instead we and our tent got tossed around by the wind...

The next morning we went for a hike on a 1.2 mile Main Loop Trail, which leads through several archeological sites (the Big Kiva, Tyuonyi, Talus House, and Long House).

After completing the Main Loop Trail we continue for another 0.5 mile (1 mile round-trip) to the Alcove House (formerly known as Ceremonial Cave). The Alcove House is located 140 feet (43 meters) above the floor of Frijoles Canyon and can only by reached by climbing on a set of 4 wooden ladders and some stone stairs. 140 feet might not sound like a lot, but when you climb on a really steep ladder it is!

Anil and Tyuonyi in the background. Tyuonyi used to be two stories tall and have over 400 rooms, most of which were used for storing food:

One of the ladders climbing into a cavate (a small human-carved alcove):

Beautiful green Frijoles Canyon:

One of the ladders leading to the Alcove House:

Inside the Alcove House: