Our last day in Albuquerque we decided to drive Hwy 4 again in order to do the side trip to the Gilman Tunnels on Hwy 485. This is a short drive on a narrow road with a turn around after passing through the last tunnel. The tunnels were built in 1920's in order to construct a rail line for hauling logs. It follows the Guadalupe River providing dramatic views into the canyon.
|By the River|
|Thought this was Interesting.My first thought was image of Jesus.|
|More Spectacular Views|
|Another Mountain View|
We then continued on our drive once again on Hwy 4 to Bandelier National Monument near the town of White Rock. It was late when we passed here on our previous trip last week and we definitely wanted to visit. The monument is named after Adolph Bandelier who came to the New Mexico Territory in 1880. During his first 18 months in the field, he visited some 166 archeological sites in the New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico areas.
|Village of Tyuonyi on floor of Frijoles Canyon|
|Cliff Dwellings with Talus house in foreground|
|Ladder to Dwellings|
|Ruins of Tyuonyi Village|
|John in a Dwelling|
|Walk to Dwellings|
|Inside the Cave|
|Looks like an Owl Face|
The Pueblo people who resided in the Frijoles Canyon were farmers who grew maize,beans and squash supplementing their diet with native plants and hunting. Cotton was cultivated and woven into garments. Tools were made from animal bones and wood. Villages often had up to 40 rooms such as the round village of Tyuonyi. This village and the cave dwellings were in the latest period in the 1400's.
The walk from the Visitor Center to the dwellings is around 1 mile to the first group and another walk takes you to the Long House. There are several longer hikes for viewing the Alcove House and waterfalls. We opted to only do the cliff dwelling walk.
There was no road into the Frijoles Canyon until the mid 1930's when the CCC built one as well as the visitor center, trails and a lodge. The park as suffered 3 major fires in 1977,1998 and 2000 destroying over 40% of the park.
This is definitely a recommended tour.
Tomorrow we leave for Fort Sumner NM for 1 night before arriving Lubbock TX for 4 nights, San Angelo for 5 nights and finally San Antonio for 3 weeks to visit with family and friends.