*The City of Santa Fe was originally occupied by a number of Pueblo Indian villages with founding dates between 1050 to 1150.
*Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and is the highest capital city in the US at 7,000 feet above sea level. It is the ending point of the 800-mile Santa Fe Trail.
*New Mexico was named by 16th century Spanish explorers who hoped to find gold and wealth equal to Mexico’s Aztec treasures. The province that was once Spanish New Mexico included all of the present day New Mexico, most of Colorado and Arizona, and slices of Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. Congress drew the boundaries of present day New Mexico in 1863, but NM did not become a state until 1912.
The Palace of the Governors was originally built in the early 1700’s as Spain’s seat of government, which is known today as the American Southwest. It records the history of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the region as well. The adobe structure, found on the Santa Fe plaza, is now the history museum of the state. It was designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1960 and American Treasure in 1999.
*Barrio de Analco Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is roughly bounded by E. De Vargas and College streets, and the Santa Fe River in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It dates from before the recolonization of New Mexico by the Spanish that followed the 1680 Great Pueblo Revolt. A working-class neighborhood of Spanish Colonial design, the Barrio is characterized by adobe-brick, flat-roofed, Pueblo-style buildings once found throughout the region. Of particular interest is the Chapel of San Miguel built in 1620 and located on the corner of E. De Vargas and College streets. Originally constructed to serve the soldiers, laborers and Indians who settled across the river from the Palace of the Governors, the chapel eventually acted as a focal point for the establishment of Barrio de Analco.
*The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, one of the individual ranges of the Rocky Mountains (and one of the longest ranges in the world) stretch from Poncha Pass, Colorado, in the north to Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, in the south. There are ten peaks over 14,000′ high in the range, two dozen more over 13,000′.
*The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe, is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The national monument, on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, includes a national recreation trail and ranges from 5,570 feet to 6,760 feet above sea level.
*Taos Pueblo located 2 miles north of Taos New Mexico and 70 miles north of Santa Fe is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in the United States. People still line in some of its 900 year old buildings.
*“Pueblo “is used to describe a group of people, a town, or an architectural style. There are 19 Pueblo groups that speak 4 distinct languages. The pueblo people of the southwest have lived in the same location longer than any other culture in the Nation.
*The Matachines Dance is popular in northern *The Matachines Dance is popular in northern New Mexico Northern New Mexico and along the Rio Grande River. People who join the Matachines do it for a religious purpose, since the dance is intended to venerate either Mother Mary, a saint, Christ, or God the Holy Trinity. Dressed in fantastic Indian costumes, the chief characters are El Monarca, the monarch (Montezuma); the captains (Montezuma’s main generals); La Malinche, or Malintzin, the Indian mistress of Hernán Cortés; El Toro, the bull, the malevolent comic man of the play is dressed in buffalo skins with buffalo horns on his head. Characters also include Abuelo, the grandfather, and Abuela, the grandmother. The Matachines dance portrays the desertion of his people by Montezuma, Malinche luring him back with her wiles and smiles, the final reunion of king and people and the killing of El Toro, who is supposed to have made all the mischief. The most basic symbol of the dance is good vs. evil, with good prevailing. Montezuma and la Malinche represent good, and the bull represents mischief. Hernan Cortes, represents Satan or evil.
*New Mexico’s Indian Reservations to a certain degree function as states within a state where tribal law may supersede state law.
*In Truchas, Chimayo’, and Coyote, isolated villages in North central New Mexico, you will find descendants of Spanish Conquistadors that still speak a form of 16th century Spanish used nowhere else in the world today.
*More than 25,000 Anasazi sites have been identified in New Mexico by archeologists. The Anasazi, an amazing civilization who were the ancestors of the Pueblo, were around for 1300 years but the current consensus. suggests their emergence around1200 BC. Beginning with the earliest explorations and excavations, researchers have believed that the Ancient Puebloans are ancestors of the modern Pueblo Peoples. In general, modern Pueblo people claim these ancient people as their ancestors.
*The Bandelier National Monument offers the visitor a rare combination of scenic beauty and antiquarian interest. Within Bandelier National Monument’s 32,000 acres, 70 miles of trails provide access to these ancient ruins, including the cliff dwellings and Tyuonyi village of Frijoles Canyon. Tsankawi, a separate section of the monument 11 miles north of the main entrance, protects an unexcavated ruin, cave dwellings and many petroglyphs. Sight-seeing at the ruins and other trail hiking, backpacking, bird watching, camping and picnicking areas are available.
*Chaco Culture National Historical Park approximately 190 miles from Santa Fe was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area from 850 AD to 1250 unlike anything before or since. Chaco is remarkable for its multi-storied public buildings, ceremonial buildings, and distinctive architecture. These structures required considerable planning, designing, organizing of labor, and engineering to construct. The Chacoan people combined many elements: pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture–one that still awes and inspires us a thousand years later.
*Valle Caldera National Preserve, located about 50+ miles from Santa Fe and in the vicinity of Bandelier National Monument contains one of the smaller volcanoes in the Supervolcano class and is a 12- mile- wide collapsed volcanic crater with lush and expansive high-altitude grassland valleys; towering mountain domes; verdant forests and woodlands; clear, sparkling streams; waterfalls; rivers carved through narrow, tall canyons; natural hot springs; red rock valleys; and some of the most stunning and isolated scenic beauty and wildlife in the Southwest.
*Los Alamos National Laboratory (or LANL) is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed and operated byLos Alamos Security (LANS), located in Los Alamos, New Mexico approximately 36 miles from Santa Fe. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world that conducts multidisciplinary research for fields such asnational security, outer space, renewable energy, medicine,nanotechnology, and supercomputing. The laboratory was founded during World War II as a secret, centralized facility to coordinate the scientific research of the Manhatten Project. the Allied project to develop the first nuclear weapons. The laboratory was officially known as Site Y.
*The world’s first Atomic Bomb designed and manufactured in Los Alamos was detonated on July 16, 1945 on the White Sands Testing Range near Alamogorda. North of the impact point a small placard marks the area known as Trinity Site.
*White Sands National Monument about 228 miles south of Santa Fe is a desert, not of sand, but of gleaming white gypsum crystals.
* The VLA (Very Large Array), a radio atronomy obeseratory and a component of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, approximately 131+ miles from Santa Fe, and one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 82 feet in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 22 miles across, with the sensitivity of a dish 422 feet in diameter.
*Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is approximately 156 miles from Santa Fe. Bosque del Apache, which means “woods of the Apache”, was named for the people who often camped in the riverside forest. Today it is know as one of the most spectacular Refuges in North America. This 57,191 acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande Valley in Socorro County, New Mexico. It ranges in elevation from 4,500 to 6,272 feet above sea level. It receives approximately 7 inches of precipitation each year. Within the refuge borders lie three wilderness areas totaling approximately 30,850 acres and five research natural areas totaling 18,500 acres. Each season at Bosque del Apache, the NWR offers unique wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitation occurs in winter, when cranes, bald eagles, and light geese are present. During the spring and fall, visitors can see warblers, flycatchers, and shorebirds. The summer months are a good time to see nesting songbirds, waders, shorebirds, and ducks. This 57,191 acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande Valley in Socorro County, New Mexico. It ranges in elevation from 4,500 to 6,272 feet above sea level. It receives approximately 7 inches of precipitation each year. Within the refuge borders lie three wilderness areas totaling approximately 30,850 acres and five research natural areas totaling 18,500 acres. Each season at Bosque del Apache, the NWR offers unique wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak visitation occurs in winter, when cranes, bald eagles, and light geese are present. During the spring and fall, visitors can see warblers, flycatchers, and shorebirds. The summer months are a good time to see nesting songbirds, waders, shorebirds, and ducks.
Check back for more notes of interest to come!a