Up early on a crystal clear day after a sound sleep with no one around us even owls. This isn't a crowded time of year but we are still body time East Coast so are up and going early.
Usually I research the places we visit but I hadn't done that for Bandelier. What a shock to find what we did. We didn't expect the extent of the ruins which rival Chaco Canyon but there are more of them easily accessible. Again we were the only people walking through these early Indian ruins and had the place to ourselves.
This part of the site has paved paths with sandstone steps and wooden ladders. It is quite accessible and has interpretive signs all along the way. The park service also loans out a pamphlet with a history write up to read as you get to sections of the site. I personally think that one of the best parts of our government is the Park Service.
You don't realize the size of what you have walked through until you see the ruins from above. There were about 100 people living in that pueblo circle plus more buildings up against the cliff walls.
Walked out, we went on to Los Alamos and the Bradbury Science Museum. Learned a lot about the Manhattan Project and how the entire town of Los Alamos was built for the Army in secret. We decided to skip Taos this time and moved on to Route 64 through some pretty tight curves at over 9,000 feet and into Cimarron, NM. This is part of the Santa Fe trail scenic byway and follows the early western cattle drives.
Too long on the road today and finally ended up at Clayton Lake State Park, glad to put the old feet up and rest a bit. We've turned east and will gradually head home having met our major goal of Big Bend National Park.