Posts Tagged ‘pueblos’

When most people hear/read the word “pueblo”, I’m sure they imagine the more famous pueblos of New Mexico. This pueblo is different, perfect for those with a fear of heights or who don’t care to climb ladders. 🙂 If this were built where we live now, it would be called a “multi-family building” AKA apartment building. From the park website:

A series of droughts in the 1200s, during the Pueblo IV period, led ancestral Puebloan people to move away from small, scattered hamlets and instead build large pueblo communities. The Village on the Rio Puerco (or Puerco Pueblo, for short) is a 100+ room pueblo site located near the Puerco River, a major drainage that bisects the park. The river would have been a reliable source of water for crops. Farming of corn, beans, and squash took place on the floodplains and terraces along the river. The river also made a natural travel corridor, meaning travelers and traders frequented Puerco Pueblo, carrying new ideas as well as goods.

To most pueblo people, a kiva was a large circular underground room used for religious/spiritual ceremonies and rites as well as for meetings.

Again from the website:

At its largest size, around 1300, Puerco Pueblo may have been home to about 200 people. The one-story high village of hand-shaped sandstone blocks was built around a rectangular plaza. The rooms were living quarters and storage, but most activity, like cooking and craftmaking, took place in the plaza. There were also several underground rooms, called kivas, where ceremonial practices took place. There were no doors or windows in the plaster-covered exterior walls of the pueblo. Entry into the village was by ladders over the wall and across the log, brush, and mud roofs of the room blocks.

Ok, they had ladders but nothing like the ones in the New Mexican pueblos or the cliff dwellings.

The sun at the summer solstice hit the marker for a short span of time. Marking the changing of the seasons was important as knowing when to plant and when the rains might come was vital to staying alive in the desert.

Finally we come to my husband’s favorite part: the petroglyphs. Think of petroglyphs as early precursors of scratch boarding, as the top layer of rock was scratched off to reveal the lighter rock beneath it.

Unable to adapt to the climate change of the late 1300s, the inhabitants of Puerco Pueblo systematically abandoned the pueblo in search of a more suitable area. It was all but empty by 1380. Only the sandstone bricks, potsherds, stone tools, petroglyphs, and other artifacts and features remain to tell the tale of these ancient people.

Where will we be next? I guess you’ll just have to come back and see, but be sure to wear your hiking books or good athletic shoes. It’s cool so you might get away without bringing water but be sure to have some in the car. We’ll be taking a break for Six-Word Saturday and One Word Sunday but then I’ll actually have a Monday walk for Jo, although she might be taking a break. We’ll find out.

My alarm was set for 4 am but I woke earlier, packed the coolers, loaded the last things in the van, and we were off on our two-day drive to Wyoming, the second time on this route for me and the first for my husband. Since we were married in 1984, we’d taken a different route, first from the east side of Cleveland and then an almost identical route from the Chicago area. Now our views and attractions were completely different.

We chose the scenic route, taking the Bush Highway to the Beeline Highway en route to I-40 east, confounding our GPS for some time before it gave up and went where I wanted it to go. Through the Tonto Forest, it was still night but we caught sight of two coyotes making their way next to the road.

After Payson, the two-lane highway 87 took us toward Winslow, Arizona (taking it easy but seeing no one standing on the corner when we arrived or any females in flat-bed Fords) and were enjoying the scenery when we were astonished and excited to see a large but young black bear run across the road a short distance ahead of us. He was really moving. What a great start to our trip! But it was about to get even better.

Just outside of Pine, right next to the road were three elk, animals you rarely see during the daylight at least in Wyoming. We found out later that there’s a herd in that area but this was quite a treat. Because there was no one coming, I stopped the van, rolled down the window and took a few shots. This fellow looked quite handsome.

The morning and road both went smoothly as we traveled east on I-25 on the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here’s a joke for you. A couple died, went to heaven, and met St. Peter at the gates. “You have to spell the name of a city before you can enter”, he said. “Fine”, they replied. St. Peter turned to the woman and said, “Spell Omaha”, which she did rapidly and correctly. Turning to the husband, he said, “Spell Albuquerque.”

New Mexico is home to 19 pueblos. Visiting pueblos is on my list of things to do once Covid retreats. If you look at this map, you’ll see the Acoma and Laguna pueblos near I-40 and when we turned north on I-25 from Albuquerque, we passed through or were near a number of other pueblos which, as far as I can ascertain, are not just the pueblo buildings themselves but also the area where that tribe of Indians live. For more information about the pueblos, click here. (As far as the use of “Native American” vs “Indian”, I’ve read that many prefer to be called Indians so that’s what I’m going with.)

At this rest stop we saw signs telling us a bit about the Laguna and Acoma pueblos.

Our stopping point for the evening was Raton, New Mexico which, if you remember from last year’s post, is home to the coolest retro gas station. While looking for a place to eat, we went into The Ice House, which serves BBQ and makes their own BBQ sauce. The food must have been good because the place was packed, but with Delta around, we weren’t in the mood for crowds, so we decided to try elsewhere. But I did like this wall art outside and the cool seating in the lobby.

Couldn’t you just see Marilyn Monroe sitting here?

The alarm was set for another early morning to get us through Colorado and its traffic before it got too bad, even though it would be Sunday. Although I often take time to fall asleep, the combination of the early morning departure and the day of driving put me out quickly. Yes, I did all the driving because a) I enjoy it (driving is my super power, I think) and b) my husband works so much that I wanted him to have time to relax. Good night for now.