Pecos Walks

Mai and I took a trip to Pecos National Historic Park on Veteran’s Day to learn more about old traditions in this bright land.  We kept a simple agenda so we had a healthy budget for quality time to explore our two main destinations, Pecos NHP and the upper Pecos river valley.  After the winding drive oh Hwy 41 through Galisteo and over Glorieta Pass, we had a picnic at an outdoor table and set off to explore Pecos on foot.

2014.11.11 Veteran's Day with Pecos 075

an old Spanish church sits at this cultural and geographic crossroads

so much history here.  10,000-12,000 years of human history.  we are latecomers

so much history here. 10,000-12,000 years of human history. we are latecomers

The last Puebloans farmed corn and traded here where the mountains and mesas meet the great plains

The last Puebloans farmed corn and traded here where the mountains and mesas meet the great plains

The homecoming story of horses is an incredible mix of natural and human history.  The Spanish reintroduced the horse in New Mexico around 1600 after a 10,000 year absence.  Horses had evolved on American grasslands and migrated globally over the Bering land bridge to all over the world.  Horses went extinct in North America around 8000 BCE and returned with the Spanish.  Maybe the intense love for horses has some roots in this absence for so long.  They are making up for lost time here.  They completely transformed the lives of native peoples living in America who integrated horses into their lifeways very quickly.  Horses certainly look at home on the American landscape even though they’ve been back only a few hundred years.

This kiva has been restored so visitors may enter it

This kiva has been restored so visitors may enter it

Sitting near the Sipapu, the figurative emergence point from the earth and accessway for communion, is a calm place to be

The Sipapu, the figurative emergence point from the earth and accessway for communion, is a calm place

It is nice to experience the feeling of these structures from a closer point of view

It is nice to experience the feeling of these structures from a closer point of view

The Pecos Puebloans eventually moved back to the Jemez Pueblo with ancestors nearby the Rio Grande valley.  This place remains sacred.  The layers of history at Pecos are remarkable.  From the ancient ones to the incredible mixing of cultures during the Age of Discovery to what is taking place right now, the history is deep and multistoried.

The Spanish seemed to desire the elevation of the church above all else, though they lavishly pursued material riches

The Spanish seemed to desire the elevation of the church above all else, though they lavishly pursued material riches

2014.11.11 Veteran's Day with Pecos 106

I like the heritage of Spanish language but I think we also must trace the history they missed with their hubris & greed

 

the humbling perspective of bare ruins in this vastness of enduring earth

the humbling perspective of bare and wasted ruins in the vastness of the enduring earth and sky

Once you stop and get out the car this place begins to work on you right away.  The whisper of wind through piñon trees sets you to listening closely.  A walk through the ruins trail along the remnant walls shorn by the elements over a long time send your imagination traveling.  You can intuit and receive some of the wisdom that sits in these places.  History comes forward as you walk and spend time here.  After touring the ruins the Park Visitor’s Center has excellent interpretive resources to help us locate history through studying the landscape and exercising our historical imaginations.

Walking through here conveys a sense a long sense of time and changing landscapes through a diverse history of human contacts

we put together strands of stories to build a narrative like Puebloans assembled these rocks to build this wall

Spanish power was conveyed in part by fancy costumes.  Humans still dress to impress, and our vehicle are very much a part of our props

Spanish power was conveyed in part by fancy costumes. Humans still dress, both ourselves and our mounts, to impress

Where is all this going?

Where is all this going?

It was quite extraordinary to learn about human interactions in these lands that go beyond our usual span of remembrances, but most certainly are as much a part of our history like everything else.  We took the latter part of the day to drive up river into the mountains from where the water comes from and to do a little walking up there.  It was cold.

A deeper blue the higher you go.  It was a dusty day with southern winds blowing up from the deserts

A deeper blue the higher you go up the Pecos. It was a dusty day with southern winds gusting up from the deserts

The Pecos river canyon  is not unlike Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, but at higher elevation

The Pecos river canyon is not unlike Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, but at higher elevation

Next Fall we have to visit here

Next Fall we have to visit here for the colors.  This place where the Rockies meets the Sudoeste (Southwest) is amazing

I've wanted to visit Pecos for a decade or so.  To finally be here with the love of my life was glorious.  Wow!

I’ve wanted to visit Pecos for a decade or so. To finally be here with the love of my life was glorious. Paz!  (Peace)

 

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