on the road again…| new mexico | santa fe | meow wolf | house of eternal return

Words are failing me as I attempt to describe the immersive, strange, beautiful experience that is Meow Wolf, so I’m going to defer to their website:

Meow Wolf is an arts production company that creates immersive, multimedia experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of storytelling. Our work is a combination of jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum, and immersive art exhibit. This unique fusion of art and entertainment gives audiences fictional worlds to explore.”

I could have wandered around in there for hours, and over Memorial Day weekend, they expanded and added more rooms, so I’m definitely going to have to find time to go back. If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe, definitely check it out!

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There’s a secret room where you can play a laser synth. It’s kind of amazing.

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on the road again…| new mexico | abiquiú | ghost ranch | part 1

Chimney Rock 2 (1 of 1)
Saturday & Sunday, I headed out to Ghost Ranch, located in Abiquiú, about an hour and 15 min north of Santa Fe. Famous for its affiliation with the late painter Georgia O’Keefee, the ranch features multiple hiking trails through gorgeous canyons and over amazing mesas.

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Chimney Rock from near the trailhead.
Chimney Rock from near the trailhead.

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Before I started working in New Mexico, I was warned about scorpions & tarantulas. So far, this is the most intimidating creepy-crawly I’ve encountered…

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Prayer stone stack
Prayer stone stack

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I made it to the top of the trail! 1.5 miles up and 1.5 back. Behind me is Chimney Rock.
I made it to the top of the trail! 1.5 miles up and 1.5 back. Behind me is Chimney Rock.
At the top. The perfect spot for some meditation. It was so incredibly quiet...except for the wind!
The perfect spot for some meditation. It was so incredibly quiet…except for the wind!
THIS. VIEW.
THIS. VIEW.

on the road again…| new mexico | aztec | aztec ruins national monument

Keeping with the grand tradition of “white people calling Native American things by the wrong name,” these ruins aren’t Aztec. They’re actually attributed to Pueblo peoples (Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Zia…just to name a few) who also don’t consider them ruins. The Pueblo peoples consider the land to be their bible, and this site, as well as the “ruins” in Chaco Canyon, extremely holy places that their ancestors still occupy.  In short, the “Aztec Ruins” are neither Aztec nor ruins. Discuss.

The construction of these multi-story communities started as early as 1100AD and integrated super complex mathematical computations into the architecture and design, aligning the structures with the cosmos.

I cannot say enough about how wonderfully this site is maintained and how awesome the National Parks team is. When I arrived, I was handed a laminated packet filled with super insightful information around the structure organized by stop on the short trail. The on-site museum is superbly curated and everyone on site was incredibly knowledgable and passionate.

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on the road again…| new mexico | santa fe | loretto chapel

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“Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel: the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction. When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel. Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters’ prayers. The stairway’s carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway’s construction.” source: the Loretto Chapel website

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on the road again…| washington | whidbey island | deception pass state park | west beach

This post has gone to the birds…

Puns aside, Washington seagulls** are the size of large house cats. They are not to be fucked with. They have little fear of humans and a taste for blood***.

**I assume these are all seagulls. I’m no ornithologist, and I didn’t bring an Audubon guide with me. Womp womp. Bird nerds: feel free to correct me in the comments 🙂

***Or for fish. Just speculating. Probably should do some research…

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on the road again…| new mexico | carlsbad | living desert zoo & gardens state park

Monday, I spent a couple hours exploring the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, NM. I was delighted to learn from the docent that Living Desert is NOT your typical zoo. All the animals there are indigenous to the various desert environments and are only in captivity because a) they’ve been injured or were sick or b) they’ve imprinted onto humans in a way that would make them vulnerable in the wild…so it feels more like a wildlife sanctuary than a zoo.

I got your back, bro!
I got your back, bro!

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Is it Friday yet?
Is it Friday yet?

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