Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising, Michigan

Welcome to Munising

The jumping off point for visiting the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is Munising, Michigan, a lively little town of about 2,500. They also have a municipal campground with Wifi. With its location on the shore of Lake Superior, I had no trouble with mosquitoes. This was truly a blessing.

I wasn’t too sure that I was going to be able to take the tour. While the water inside the harbor was calm, sheltered by Grand Island, the lake outside the harbor was not. The day I arrived, they had to cancel the last tours of the day, and they told me to call in the morning.

The weather that night was wild. It rained, the wind blew so hard it made poor old Flo feel like a ship at sea, and it was cold. Between waves of weather, I went outside to look for the northern lights. I couldn’t stay out long, but I heard that they were spotted by people in the area. “See the Northern Lights” is still on my bucket list.

The morning was overcast and did not look promising. I called the cruise office around 11:00 and asked if they were going. They said they were, so I booked a ticket for later and took a nap.

When I woke up, the weather was glorious!

I drove into town, got my ticket and found a seat on the upper deck and got settled in.

Life vest demonstration
Life vest demonstration
Safety first!
Safety first!

As we crossed the harbor, the water was very calm.

Smooth water in the harbor
Smooth water in the harbor

There was a bit more wave action once we passed Grand Island, but it really was a smooth trip. Once we got out on the lake, though, there was a noticeable temperature drop.

Extreme hoodie overload
Extreme hoodie overload

People started putting on all the clothes they had with them. This woman had three jackets with hoods attached.

Photo of me on the trip

I was also well-swaddled. Two jackets, a hat and the scarf I knit last winter. I wish I had thought to bring gloves. I had them in the truck.

beginning of the cliff

The cliffs started once we left the harbor. “Nice,” I thought, but hardly impressive.

more beginning

Getting more interesting.

The water is starting to get a little rougher.
The water is starting to get a little rougher.

Miner's

Interesting. Eroded cliffs. This one is called “Miners Castle.”

Painted Rocks

Captain Sliter told us that the brown comes from iron ore leaching through the sandstone. Black is from manganese, white is from calcium and the blues and greens are from copper.

Painted Rocks 3

Painted Rocks 4

Painted Rocks 5

Lover's Leap
Lover’s Leap

Painter Rocks 6

Painted Rocks 7

Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock

Notice the pine growing atop Cathedral Rock. All its water and nutrients come from the root that grows from the tree on top of the rock to the shore. Captain Sliter told us that there used to be a rock arch growing under the root, but it eroded away years ago. That is one tenacious tree!

Painted Rocks 11

 

Painted Rocks 10

These were the highlights of the Pictured Rocks, as far as I am concerned. What color!

Painted Rocks 12

The farthest point we went on our tour was Spray Falls.

Spray Falls

And then we turned around for the return trip.

Looking out at the lowest point in the United States
Looking out at the lowest point in the United States

Now, I thought that Death Valley was the lowest point in the United States, but Captain Sliter informed us that the lowest point was really the bed of Lake Superior. The surface of the lake is about 600 feet above sea level, and the depth is about 1300 feet, which means that the bed of Lake Superior is about 700 feet below sea level.

Ship's bell

There is a lot of nostalgia for the old ways of doing things on ships. For instance, they have this bell, but I never saw or heard it used. Modern methods of piloting

I was pleased to see that they have modern methods of piloting available and they use them.

On the way back, we passed by the old lighthouse on Grand Island. It was built in 1867 and was in use until 1910.lighthouse 1867 Grand Island

And then we were back at the dock.

Sunset at the campThat night, we had a glorious sunset. And, in spite of the clear night sky, once again, I missed seeing the Northern Lights.

It’s still on the bucket list.

 

 

Let’s Go to the Falls!

Slowly I turn...
Slowly I turn…

No, not those Falls!

Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Lower Falls
Lower Falls

Since I lived in Michigan for almost thirty years, I knew that Tahquamenon Falls were “up there” but I didn’t know much of anything about them, other than people said they were pretty spectacular. I am here to say that they are, indeed, remarkable.

For one thing, there are two sets of falls – the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. The Upper Falls has one big drop, and the Lower Falls has five drops that cascade around an island. They have boats available for rent that you can row across a lagoon to the island and then hike around to see all the falls up close and personal. I satisfied myself with a stroll along the top.

Me at the Lower Falls
Me at the Lower Falls

Another feature of these waterfalls is that the water is actually brown. The brown color comes from the tannins that leach from the cedars in the swamps surrounding the river.

The Upper Falls
The Upper Falls

Furthermore, there are mounds of naturally occurring suds in the river beyond the falls. This happens as a result of the soft water, the aeration caused by the falls and naturally occurring lignin proteins found in decaying organic matter, if I understand correctly. At least, that is what the sign said.

Naturally occurring foam
Naturally occurring foam

On the day I visited, the river was flowing at 4,751 gallons per second. Just for the sake of comparison, Niagara Falls flow rate is about 150,000 gallons per second. Still, this was pretty impressive for a relatively small river.

Lower Falls
Lower Falls

The rock that the river flows over is sandstone. There are a couple different types of sandstone, one is harder than the other. At one spot, they point out fossilized ripples from the floor of an ancient ocean that used to be here.

Ripples in the sandstone
Ripples in the sandstone

I didn’t actually go down to the edge of the river due to the unwanted attentions of Michigan’s second state bird, the mosquito. If I kept moving, they kind of trailed behind me like a cloud. When I would stop to take a picture, or to admire the view, they would catch up and swarm around me. It was so remarkable that people along the trail told me that they saw it happening. I was dressed in protective clothing and had bug repellant and I don’t think I got one bite while I was at the falls. However, it wasn’t pleasant.

I stopped and spoke with a ranger at the Fact Shack near the Upper Falls. She was displaying a Lamprey Eel that that took from the river at the base of the Lower Falls. It is an invasive species that is native to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s now found in all of the Great Lakes – and the Tahquamenon River. It attaches itself to a host fish with its suction cup mouth until it eventually kills the host fish. This one was posing for its close up. Those teeth look fearsome.

The mouth of the lamprey eel
The mouth of the lamprey eel

One thing that I appreciated about the trails to the river’s edge, especially around the Upper Falls, was that they told you how far down it was from the trail. Personally, I would appreciate warning signs like this in all areas of life. Who wouldn’t want to know how close to the edge they are?

Warning sign

 

 

 

 

So, Soo, MI!

No, don’t sue ME – Sault Sainte Marie, in the Upper Peninsula. “Sault” is pronounced “soo” and most people refer to it as Soo, as in, “I’m going to the Soo.”

If you are going to the Soo from Hartwick Pines, and you are towing a trailer, the most logical route is over the Mackinac Bridge. While the route is logical, the pronunciation isn’t. It is pronounced “Mack-in-aw.”

Mighty Mac, as it is sometimes called, is currently the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere, and the fifth longest in the world. It’s about five miles long, and the middle segment between the towers is 3,800 feet. At that point, you are about 200 feet above the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

The bridge opened in 1957. My friend, Teri, always called it “Daddy’s Bridge” because her father worked on building it.

Teri celebrating her 50th birthday by taking a ride to Mackinaw Island
Teri celebrating her 50th birthday by taking a ride to Mackinac Island

I didn’t get a picture of the bridge this time. It’s hard to get into position when you’re towing a 27 foot trailer. But, if you want to see what it looks like and learn more about the bridge, just go to mackinacbridge.org

Traffic was a little slow, as they had it shut down to one lane in each direction. You don’t want to defer maintenance on a structure like this! I must admit, though, that these signs did give me pause.

Closed

Not to worry! Just two of the lanes were closed. They are updating their computer systems so that we will be able to pay the toll by credit or debit cards. Incidentally, it cost $8 for Flo and Bart to cross the bridge. Cora and I got to go along for the ride.

A ferry heading for St. Ignace
A ferry heading for St. Ignace from Mackinac Island

After another 50 miles, I arrived at my campground at Brimley State Park. I stayed three nights.

The view from my door at Brimley State Park
The view from my door at Brimley State Park

It was a nice place, right on the shores of Lake Superior.

Sunset on Lake Superior
Sunset on Lake Superior

The big draw, as far as I was concerned, was seeing the Locks at the Soo. And, boy, did I get lucky with my timing! I arrived at the locks just as one ship was leaving and another was getting ready to go through.

Heading toward the lock
Heading toward the lock
The Algomarine getting ready to enter the MacArthur Lock
The Algomarine getting ready to enter the MacArthur Lock
About one quarter of the way into the lock.
About one quarter of the way into the lock.

I was quite taken by the scrapes on the bow of the ship. Apparently, they don’t interfere with its seaworthiness. Scrapes

scrapes 2

I do love interesting texture!

Plimsoll lines
Plimsoll lines that indicate the  amount of freeboard that the ship has above the waterline
The whole ship is in the lock
The whole ship is in the lock
Making the ship fast
Making the ship fast
Closing the lock
Closing the lock
The lock is closed
The lock is closed

Now that the lock is closed, they open up the tunnels that allow the water to drain out of the lock. Lake Superior is 21 feet higher than Lake Huron. There are rapids at this part of the St. Marys River that impedes navigation. The water starts to drain out and the ship starts to lower.

Going
Going
going
going
going
going
Down.
Down.

Then they pull in the lines, open the locks and sail out.

Opening the lock
Opening the lock
Going
Going
Going
Going
Gone.
Gone.

There is an excellent viewing platform that allows you to get up in the air for a bird’s eye view of the whole procedure. There is only about 30 inches of clearance on each side of the ship. The teamwork it takes is quite interesting.

One of the people on the platform with me called out to the ships’ hands and asked what they were carrying. The Algomarine was carrying wheat on this trip.

Interestingly enough, the first lock on the river was built on the Canadian side, but it was destroyed in the War of 1812. The first locks on the American side were built in 1855. There are two major locks in use for commercial shipping on the American side, another that is used infrequently and one that is slated for replacement. On the Canadian side, there is one lock that is used for recreation and tour boats.

After all that work of watching the ship pass through the lock, I found it necessary to take a bit of light refreshment. I adjourned to a nearby establishment.

Lockview Restaurant Sault Ste. Marie

I’m just a sucker for old neon!

Cross Another One Off the Bucket List: Hartwick Pines State Park, Michigan

Green is the color of the day
Green is the color of the day

Hartwick Pines has been on my list of things to do since I heard about it at a meeting of the Michigan Geographic Alliance back in the ’90s. Imagine a stand of virgin forest that somehow escaped the logging industry that put Michigan on the map.

Hartwick Pines was named after Edward E. Hartwick, who died of illness in France in 1918. His wife, Karen, donated a section of unlogged forest to preserve his memory.

forest

Canopy

The forest is in good shape and it is doing what forests do. As the trees reach the ends of their lifespans, they die.

A standing dead tree is called a snag.
A standing dead tree is called a snag.

They serve as homes for birds, bugs and small mammals. Eventually, they fall.

Returning to the earth
Returning to the earth

The nutrients return to the earth. New trees start to grow. Sometimes new species of trees take root. The forest continues.

Along the trail, there is a museum dedicated to logging. One thing I learned that never occurred to me was that much of the logging took place in the winter. The snow made it easier to move the logs. I suppose the lack of mosquitoes didn’t hurt, either.

Big Wheel
Big Wheel

When they would need to move the heavy logs about and they didn’t have snow to assist them, they used an implement called a Big Wheel to help them.

Big Wheel

There is also a chapel along the trail. oddly enough, it was so overcast that day that I could barely see inside it, in spite of the windows.

Chapel
Chapel

I  had a lovely campsite at the park. I got it backed in on the first pass!

Flo through the trees
Flo through the trees

The morning I was getting hitched up to head to the Upper Peninsula, the sun finally broke out.

The view from my door
The view from my door

Wildflowers

Wildflowers 2

Ferns

It was a green and glorious day!

 

 

 

 

Ka!amazoo (I’ll be back – I promise!*)

I spent a lovely two weeks back in Kalamazoo, Michigan. What made it so lovely,  you might ask. Well, the people! I lunched and supped with many friends of long-standing. I played Team Trivia three times – and I think our team even came in first once.

Just a small sample of some of the friends I managed to see.
Just a small sample of some of the friends I managed to see.

I made a new friend when I visited a friend in her studio.

A new friend
A new friend

And, of course, you have already heard of my new Travel Cat, Cora.

Cora: Co-pilot Rescue Animal
Cora: Co-pilot Rescue Animal

I managed to get some doctor appointments in and I got new glasses.

These are my new glasses. Same style as the old ones, but purple. Jazzy!
These are my new glasses. Same style as the old ones, but purple. Jazzy!

And some shades.

My future's so bright...
My future’s so bright…

One day, I took a trip out to Allegan to pick up the OTC meds and vitamins I take. I am all set for a year!

A great source for cheap generic OTC drugs and such.
A great source for cheap generic OTC drugs and such.

I stopped to take a look at the landmark iron bridge while I was in town.

Allegan's Famous Iron Bridge
Allegan’s Famous Iron Bridge

The bridge was built in the 19th century to replace an earlier wooden bridge. It cost $7532.25 to build it in 1886 and “only” $552,000 to restore it in 1983. It’s a one-lane bridge, so you have to wait for a green light before you can cross. It’s kind of fun to take the bridge, even if it means you have to wait a few minutes. It’s kind of a transportation artifact you can actually use.

Summertime in Kalamazoo means it’s time for festivals. While I was there, I managed to squeeze in three of them – but only because they were all happening downtown on the same day.

The first one I got to was the KIA Art Fair in Bronson Park. It is a juried art fair and has really excellent work for sale. It was fun running into old friends. Some were strolling, some were selling and some were volunteering. That’s one of the things I love about Kalamazoo. Everyone is involved.

Kalamazoo Institute of Art Art Fair in Bronson Park
Kalamazoo Institute of Art Art Fair in Bronson Park

A block or so away, there is another art fair. This group of artists is self-selected, I believe. They create with enthusiasm.

Art on the Mall
Art on the Mall
Kalamazoo's finest on a Segway. We're up to date!
Kalamazoo’s finest on a Segway. We’re up to date!

Incidentally, Kalamazoo used to be known at “Mall City” because it was the first city in the United States to turn a street into a pedestrian mall. This took place back in 1959. In 1998, two blocks of the mall were changed back to allow a single lane of automobile traffic.

And, yes, I did have to look up the dates.

If you walk all the way down to the end of the mall and then head right to the Arcadia Creek Festival Place, you come to the third simultaneous festival – Greek Fest.

Welcome to Greek Fest
Welcome to Greek Fest

Greek food, vendors of all sorts, music, and belly  dancing,  if you happen to hit it at the right time.

There are things happening all summer long. I missed the annual Do-Dah Parade and the monthly Art Hop. I’m sure there are other things I missed as well. If you are curious about the happenings in Kalamazoo, might I suggest www.discoverkalamazoo.com?

One thing I didn’t miss, though, and that was National Donut Day. The holiday was created in 1938 to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers in World War I. Naturally, I had to celebrate at one of the best donut shops in the country – Sweetwater’s Donut Mill.

Sweetwater's Donut Mill - one of the best in the USA!
Sweetwater’s Donut Mill – one of the best in the USA!

_________________

* How do I know I’ll be back? Well, I visited doctors. Once you reach a certain age, if you visit one doctor, chances are you will have a repeat engagement. I visited five. How marvelous to be so popular!

Introducing Ms Cora!

Cora: Co-pilot Rescue Animal
Cora: Co-pilot Rescue Animal

One of the first things I did upon arrival in Kalamazoo was make arrangements to welcome my new Travel Cat. Her previous owner was moving into an apartment that didn’t allow animals. She was happy that her kitty was going to someone who would love her and give her a good home.

I decided to rename her to reflect her new role. I had hoped she would be my co-pilot, so I named her Co. A Facebook Friend suggested adding the “ra” for Rescued Animal. So, Cora, it is!

I am not so sure about the co-pilot idea. The first trip – about 50 miles – didn’t go so well. I couldn’t get her into her carrier, so I put her in the harness and clipped her leash onto the headrest in the cab of the truck. She wedged herself deep under a seat. It took several hours to get her out. I finally slid the seat all the way forward and pulled her out. She was not happy and neither was I.

When it was time to move to the next spot, I tried once again to get her into the carrier. Again, I couldn’t get her in. This time, I decided to let her ride in the trailer. It was a cool day and overcast, so I figured that she wouldn’t overheat.

75 miles later, I got to the evening’s destination. I opened the door, went in, set out her food and looked for her in her favorite spot in my bedroom. She wasn’t there! I looked all over. I opened cabinets, pulled all the blankets off the bed, and I even did all that twice. There just aren’t that many places to hide in an Airstream.

I finally figured that she must have sneaked out while I was preparing to leave Woodland Travel Center, where I had a little maintenance done. I called them, and they sent all the workers out to look.

It was a sad night. I slept fitfully and got up at dawn to go back to the RV center and look for my kitty. Imagine my surprise when she crawled out of a space I didn’t even know was there!

I was so glad to see her! I let her eat and drink and then I brushed and petted her and asked her not to do that again. I also called the good folks at Woodland Travel Center to let them know she was found, and to thank them for their concern.

And then, I took care of the entrance to her hidey hole.

What would we do without duct tape?
What would we do without duct tape?

On the Road from Taos to Michigan

Flo in the mirror

I hitched up Flo and began the long haul from Taos to Kalamazoo. It’s a trip of about 1500 miles, so it took several days.

The first part of the trip was “scenic” which meant that I had both hands on the steering wheel and both eyes on the road. Needless to say, I didn’t see much of the scenery. But the roads were good and the traffic light.

By the time I got to Denver, the traffic was no longer light, but the drivers were incredibly courteous. I had people waving me in and letting me know that they were waiting for me. I wonder if all cities have citizens who are so generous during rush hour?

The view from my door at the Fort Morgan campsite
The view from my door at the Fort Morgan campsite

The first night, I stayed at a free – yes FREE – campground provided by the good people of Fort Morgan, Colorado. They set aside one parking lot in a large city park for people to camp in. They have a few 20 amp outlets for people who would like to plug in, and provide information about where to go for a dump station, water and showers. They allow people to stay for up to five nights. I only needed one night, and with my solar power and batteries, I didn’t need the electricity. I was touched by their hospitality.

The next night, I stayed at a municipal park in Utica, Nebraska. It was a small park a couple miles off I-80. I missed taking a photo of the view out my door because a neighbor was mowing his lawn and I wanted to respect his privacy. The next morning, it was raining. This site cost $10 and they had water and electricity and there was a pool in the park, if I had wanted to look into  it. Many of the smaller towns along the interstate in Nebraska have municipal campgrounds. I think this is mighty hospitable of them.

See the rabbits? (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
See the rabbits? (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

I drove across Iowa without spending the night. I loved the rolling hills. It almost seemed like a green ocean voyage.

The view from my door at Fisherman's Corner, on the banks of the Mississippi
The view from my door at Fisherman’s Corner, on the banks of the Mississippi

My third night of the trip was spent in Illinois on the banks of the mighty Mississippi at an Army Corp of Engineers facility, Fisherman’s Corner. It had water and electricity and provided a dump station. With my interagency pass, it was only $9 for the night.

I had wonderful luck with the weather on this trip. I kept hearing about the horrendous storms hitting all around, but I managed to settle into a trough between the fronts. My luck finally ran out in Indiana.

A view of the angry looking Lake Michigan from Indiana Dunes State Park.
A view of the angry looking Lake Michigan from Indiana Dunes State Park.

I spent two night at Indiana Dunes State Park and the weather was just miserable. I felt so sorry for all the tent campers there. I spent my time in the trailer, cleaning, resting and watching TV.

By the time I got all cleaned up and everything stowed away, it was time for the final hundred mile push down I-94 to Markin Glen County Park in Kalamazoo, and a visit to home and friends. And Doctors.

More about that in my next installment.

 

 

Taos Miscellany

One more post before I move on from Taos.

I parked Flo the Airstream at Orilla Verde, a Bureau of Land Management site near Pilar, about 15 miles outside of Taos. It was on the banks of the Rio Grande. It’s a small campground, with only about ten sites. I was thrilled to grab the last empty site. My arrival date was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and I was a bit concerned that I might not be able to find a place to stay.

The region had received a lot rain lately, and my site was flooded. That was no problem, though. I rolled up my jeans and waded in to unhitch the trailer. However, I was not going to wade to the electrical hook up and plug in. My Momma didn’t raise a fool!

I filled out the registration envelope and deposited it before I left to go explore Taos. While driving  back, I realized that I had paid the tent site fee rather than the RV site fee. I found the camp host and explained what I had done. He told me that I could just pay the tent site fee, since I couldn’t get to the power, and he would explain it to the ranger. Bonus!

The view from my campsite
The view from my campsite. The Rio Grande is on the other side of the road.

I was amazed by the snow on the mountains. Taos is about 7000 feet above sea level. The mountains that surround it are even higher.

Snow on the mountains
Snow on the mountains

One of the other sites I visited in Taos is the Martinez Hacienda, which was built in 1804. It was a fortified home and trading post. There are only three doors into the structure and no windows. In spite of the fortifications, there are no records of it ever being attacked. On the other hand, maybe the fortifications prevented the attacks.  There was one door  for people and two large doors for animals. The plan was to drive the animals into the courtyards in case of emergency.

The Martinez Hacienda
The Martinez Hacienda

Speaking of courtyards, this building was built around two courtyards. The family’s quarters and the public areas were around the front courtyard. The workshops and the workers’ quarters were around the back courtyard.

Passage from the rear courtyard to the front courtyard
Passage from the rear courtyard to the front courtyard

This is a recreation of the owner’s main living room. You can see a window here, but it opens into the courtyard, not to the exterior.

The main living room
The main living room
Blanket chest and chairs
Blanket chest and chairs

The furnishings were spartan and utilitarian.

Ceiling detail
Ceiling detail

The walls are adobe, which keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The ceilings are held up with cedar logs, which are covered with branches. logs or wood. This room is largely recreated, as milled wood would not have been used at this time. It is currently used for a quilting display.

Workshop
Workshop

Around there rear courtyard were various workshops that took care of whatever the people living there needed.

An important export
An important export

Wool was an important source of income for the hacienda. In addition to rugs and cloth, knit socks were an important export.

Saints
Saints
Nuestra Señora de Dolores
Nuestra Señora de Dolores

There was also a display of religious artwork in rear courtyard.

It was disheartening to read about the enslavement of the Indians in the area. The built the Hacienda and did the work. I doubt that they shared in the profits.

TL 2 horses

I came across this mural while walking around Taos.

TL 1 McD

And, of course, there was a McDonalds. They’re everywhere! (And they have free wifi!)

Next up: a report on my travels from New Mexico to Michigan.

San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos

The last stop on the Sister Jeanne Art History Tour of Taos is the church of San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos, which is just outside Taos on the south side of town.RT 2

As the tourism information specialist told me when I first got to Taos, “This is one of the most photographed and painted churches in the world.” It is the subject of paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe and photos by Ansel Adams among others.

While I was visiting to take photos, there were seven other photographers there, engaged in serious art-making. I had to jockey around to get pictures without them in the frame. Of course, that would have been part of the story, too.

I have no photos of the interior, as they request that we not take them. I did buy a couple of postcards, but I try to avoid copyright infringement. However, you can find more information on Wikipedia, among other sites you can Google.

RT 1

RT 4

RT 5

RT 6

RT 7

RT 9

It was built between 1772 and 1816 and requires constant upkeep. I attended mass there on Sunday, and the priest was talking about the work that would be required to replaster the building. They call it “enjarrar”.

RT 8

Here you can see a damaged portion of the exterior. You can also see the straw that is used in the mixture. What happens when you take care of an adobe building faithfully? You get the Taos Pueblo.

North building
North building of Taos Pueblo

What happens when you don’t maintain the building? They don’t last as long.

RT 10

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is another site that Sister Jeanne, my art history teacher, introduced me to. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark that is located about a mile outside of Taos. It’s a community of multi-storied adobe buildings that have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years.

They tell visitors that the buildings have changed very little over the years. They have added doors and windows. Originally, access was by climbing ladders to the roof and entrance through square holes to descend into the rooms. The buildings within the pueblo do not have electricity, running water or indoor plumbing. Some people do have wood stoves, according to what I was told, but heating is done with small fireplaces.

TP 8

The pueblo is built on the banks of the Red Willow Creek, which is also called Rio Pueblo. The water was very high the day I visited due to all the recent rain.

The north building is the most frequently photographed part of the pueblo.

North building
North building
South Building
South Building

The walls of the buildings are close to a yard thick at the base and get thinner as they go up. The walls of the rooms at the top are around a foot thick. The roofs are supported with cedar beams, a layer of branches, a thick layer of mud and finished with adobe.

Each year, the buildings are refinished with another coat of mud. There is a great deal of similarity between the Earthships and Taos Pueblo in that they both use the materials they have on hand to create sustainable communities.

A stack of adobe bricks
A stack of adobe bricks

In the center of the plaza are racks that they said are for drying food. They also provide nice shade. There is are ovens located conveniently throughout the pueblo. I like the idea of having one under shade.

Oven under the drying racks
Oven under the drying racks
!9th century church
!9th century church

There is a church on the plaza. It it is a replacement for a church that was destroyed by the United States military during the Pueblo Massacre of 1847.

Church destroyed in the Pueblo Massacre of 1847
Church destroyed in the Pueblo Massacre of 1847
Graveyard near the ruined church
Graveyard near the ruined church

The warm welcome I received from all the members of the Pueblo made me feel so sad about the treatment they received at the hands of the Spaniards and the United States.

May we all learn to live together in peace and with mutual respect.