Thursday, April 7, 2016

Acoma Pueblo (4/5-4/7/2016)

I like to visit the Acoma Pueblo (tribe) anytime I'm in this area.  They have a casino, hotel, truck stop, and a very nice RV park with reasonable rates.  I didn't recall any problems with the WIFI here, but this time it has not worked well, forcing me to go into the hotel to access the internet.  It may be the site where I'm parked is just too far from the tower.

Not far from here are two National Monuments, El Malpais and El Morro, that I've enjoyed in the past.  This time, I'm looking to try some back roads that are new to me, particularly roads that lead into the mountains north of the Pueblo.  Asking some of the life-long residents for advice got me nowhere, so I just struck out on my own to explore the area.  Just before sunset on the day of my arrival, I ran across an old Catholic church that is probably still in use.  Catholicism has been practiced by many of the local Indians since the Spanish conquered the area in the 1600s and forced their religion on the natives.

St. Joseph church
 As the sunset developed, I found a place to take a few photos.

The sunrise the next morning was also pretty good.  I have the feeling there may be lots of sunrises and sunsets in your future travelogues.

My explorations took me into Laguna Pueblo, which is right next to Acoma.  This pueblo has a strict rule against photography within their village proper, so I can't show you some of the interesting buildings and neighborhoods.  However, I did get some shots in the mountains and canyons surrounding the village.  One formation struck me as unusual, although I never learned its name.

I then came upon a road into Encinal Canyon, so gave it a try.

I immediately began to see stud piles along the road, a sure sign that wild horses are in the area.  (Herd leaders leave these manure piles to mark their territory.)  Sure enough, I soon came upon a small band of horses.  While most of them ran a "safe" distance away, one brave (or naive) young guy never moved as I drove past him within five feet.

Farther down the road, I encountered some ruins.  These were not the 800 year old ruins of the Anasazi I sometimes run across, but more modern structures perhaps 100-200 years old.  It may have been a village, or possibly a mining camp, but I saw foundations for at least a dozen buildings.

I drove about eight or ten miles into the mountains, but found nothing more of interest.  I'll never know where the road led as it wound its way higher and higher.

Returning to the main road, I took a road into Old Canyon that I had noticed earlier.  It was a pretty drive with even more wild horses in several herds.

My day ended with another pretty sunset.


  1. Interesting information about the wild horses. Plus interesting that the photos of them showed such a variety of coats, colors and builds.

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