Published: March 20th 2012March 20th 2012
only about 1500 to go
Lots of pictures in this blog!!
The trees were planted!! My journal entry from March 5th simply says
'Tree planting, exhausted - enough said'
That first day there were 8 of us and we planted 600 trees , 8-10 foot tall willow saplings with diameters ranging from 1-3 inches. The next day 35 folks from the regional office showed up and fortified with doughnuts we all planted 1200 more trees for a total of 1800. The purpose of the planting is to restore habitat for fly catcher that used to nest in the area.
We continue to tour the area on our days off and on one of our weekend outings we headed west to the small mining town of Magdalena. The area was alive with people during the late 1800's mining zinc and lead. The Kelly Mine and others continued until the 1930's when the Depression took its toll. Ron loved this old mine since he has a similar one on his Railroad layout. There is still enough at the site so you can almost hear and see the hustle and bustle of a working mine.
A bit farther up the road was Riley, now
a classic ghost town. Riley was settled around farming along the Rio Salado instead of mining. But during the 1930's the water table and the river dried up and the 'dust bowl' era started. Only the school house and church remain now, both made of stone instead of the adobe structures that have all been reduced to piles of ruble.
We have been waiting for the weather to improve for a trip to Santa Fe, but we were running out of time. Santa Fe is at 7,000 ' and winter hangs on there for a while longer, but it was go this weekend or not at all, so we went. We stayed 3 nights at a B&B, called Las Palermos, that was just 2 blocks from the old town plaza area and the museums. The B&B was housed in a compound of buildings that date back 200 years. There is plenty of evidence of the age of the buildings with slanting floors and thick adobe walls, but that was quaint when coupled with the King size bed, Jacuzzi tub, cable TV and internet. It was also a short walk to loads of shopping: jewelry shops, boutiques, more jewelry stores,
I made one for Jeannine and 3 to sell in the gift shop
fossil shops, leather goods, Native Americans set up on the street with their handmade goods, restaurants galore and of course more jewelry shops.
We loved Santa Fe and the surrounding area. We visited two sites that were formed when a 1000 foot layer of ash and pumice was dumped by volcanic eruptions 6 million years ago. The first area we visited was Bandalier National Monument. This area has one of the largest concentrations of archaeological sites in the Southwest. There are 3,000 sites in Bandalier used by the Pueblo people until the mid-1500's. The most spectacular are the cliff dwellings, especially the Alcove House; to get there you have to climb 140 feet of ladders almost straight up.
The next area that was formed from the ash layer of the volcano was Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. When you see the pictures you will understand the name. This area was just surreal - and that is not a word I use often.
Our time here in New Mexico is running short. We only have 3 more volunteer days left at Sevilleta. The time has gone by so fast - memorable times
It was a snowy day in Magdalena - higher elevation than Socorro
were the Harvest Dance at Laguna Pueblo, the wolf capture, and all the times we got lost on the refuge and found new places. But our regular working days were also very good and memorable. Our experience here has been everything that we had hoped for and much more. We were given so much freedom to explore and see the refuge; we really wish we had more time to continue with that. We have grown to respect the dedicated people that run this place. We plan to continue our volunteering next year, but not here. As much as we love the area and the people, the weather has been tough on us. The sunshine is wonderful and we have that almost every day, but the wind has been miserable. So for next year we are looking at a refuge near South Padre Island called Laguna Atacosa. If that doesn't work out then we will wander again like we have done in years past.
Our travels for this year are not over yet. We are heading to San Antonio once we leave here. So at least one more blog!
There are more photos below