Posted by Amarna Miller on 18 Sep 2013 in Santa fe, Travels | No Comments

Mesa Verde and the Skyview motel

When I decided to move to Santa Fe , New Mexico , I made a list of places  that I wanted to see at any cost (and bearing in mind that a short trip in the U.S. is usually more than six hours).

Of course , on the top of  the list I wrote the Colorado canyon, the Carlsbad Caverns , Taos Pueblo , White Sands (where I finally end up doing skydiving) and finally, the wonderful Mesa Verde.

After taking the cheapest car hire we could find ( $ 14 the day seemed a joke ), we went to Dixon, New Mexico , in order to interview the steward of an acequia : the great Estevan Arellano.

The man turned out to be absolutely lovely, he spoke Spanish perfectly and was Mexican descent. His house was made of adobe,  truth adobe, and he had built it with his bare hands .

I made a short interview about his vision about the conservation of water within a state that is basically suffering a permanent drought, and I took a few pictures of him with which I make a slideshow. But hey , that’s another story .

After this stop that lasted more than necessary, we went throught mountain roads to go to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The place was basically in the middle of nowhere, so we could only looking for a hotel in the area or being driving during hours.

Then we found the Skyview Motel , with wooden rooms and King size beds . $50 per night in double room. I’ll take it !
The cold was awful and the only source of heat in the room came from a last century stove that smelled of burnt dust when it was turned on for more than 15 minutes. Electrical burning smell. Old houses. We being burned .

We decided to turn off the stove and sleep totally covered with the duvet, which turns out to be much more comfortable than it looked .

As we reached the place when it was dark, we were not aware of the landscape that was around us. So, when we wake up the next morning we discovered that we were in the middle of the snow, a lot of degrees below zero and with the car filled with frost. We had breakfast and went to the west .

We arrived at Mesa Verde at lunchtime, and it was as spectacular as I had imagined; hundreds of miles of giant canyons sink into the earth and creating labyrinthine forms in nearly vertical rock walls .

But the most impressive thing comes now: In those same vertical walls , the Anasazi (ancestors of American tribes) carved their homes. They excavate stone cities created hundreds of meters high. In total , there are over 600 settlements carved into the cliffs of Mesa Verde .

 

We did the ” Spruce tree” trail , and after seeing some of the most important settlements, we headed home. We encountered a few deers along the way.

 

Do we know a good place to sleep nearby ? Wow, Pagosa Springs! So again, we spent the night at the Skyview Motel . Exactly in the same room that the last night.

And as my fevered imagination had spent half a day fantasizing about shoot something in that magnificent wooden room, when we woke up we took the camera and did a wonderful set photos (that you can buy on this website , by the way ) .

We took the car and went through the ” Garita Caldera ” , something like the most horrifying volcanic explosion of all time. Of course, now there is only a really nice geology and volcanic rock chunks everywhere.
In the middle of the snow we found a lost route called ” Treasure Trail ” with a terrible story about a lost treasure and a few French people. The trail led to a frozen waterfall absolutely spectacular.

And again , feverish imagination power. Damn, that was a really nice place! So I set to work to make a photo set for Ishotmyself . Naked in the snow. Horrible cold. Frozen fingers can not press the shutter . You know, those little things .

After regain mobility in my legs and put  my jacket back, we took the car , making a few stops along the way , until we reach the warmer Santa Fe

 

Gallery , with virtually every picture vilely stolen from Zor blog .


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