Our pre-Feast trip to New Mexico

We flew from Indianapolis, Ind., to Albuquerque, N. Mex., on Tuesday, Sept. 21. 1999. We drove to Santa Fe and visited the Georgia O'Keefe museum, ate Tex-Mex food at the Ore House overlooking the Plaza, wandered around the LaFonda hotel and various shops, and in general had a blast.

Wednesday morning we drove up to Los Alamos, N. Mex., scrambled around on some cliffs, ate lunch at the Blue Corn restaurant, visited the atomic museum and gift shop, went to nearby Bandelier National Monument, then afterward drove to Taos, N. Mex. for the night.

I have wonderful boyhood memories of this area of our country, and was basically retracing my youthful steps.

Mitch, Scott and Zack in cliff dwelling at Bandelier National Monument, Sept. 22, 1999, near Los Alamos, N. Mex. We had to climb 140 feet of log ladders to get up here. Note the holes in the walls, where the vigas (rafters) of dwellings were inserted.
Scott beside Little Boy (uranium gun-type used at Hiroshima), and Fat Man (plutonium implosion-type, used at Nagasaki), Sept. 22, 1999, at the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, N. Mex. My parents first met in Los Alamos in the early 1950s and our family made several trips there when I was a boy.
Peg in ceremonial kiva in Bandelier cliff dwelling.
Scott climbing out of kiva at Bandelier.
Zack, Mitch and Scott cool their feet in ice-cold Frijoles Creek, Sept. 22, 1999, in Bandelier National Monument. It was just as refreshing as when I did this in my youth.
Zack on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Sept. 23, 1999. We left Antonito, Colo., mid-morning, and traveled 64 miles on America's highest narrow gauge steam train. At noon we had an all-you-can-eat beef barbecue meal in Osier, Colo., and finished our trip at Chama, N. Mex., about 5:30 p.m. We crossed the New Mexico-Colorado border 11 times on this trip, and the highest point was Toltec pass at 10,200 feet.
Gritty coal soot belches forth from the engine, where Mitch, Peg and Zack are standing. It drifted down upon Zack and me during the duration of the 6.5-hour trip (we mostly stood outside in the open gondola car).
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