A mountain drive to Bandelier

Trip Start Mar 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 11, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30 – by Madison

Today we went to Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. To get to the national monument we had to drive about 1 hour up and down hills.   My Dad and I were wondering how many people come here because you have to drive up and down mountains.  Once we got there we went to the visitor center to get our junior ranger books.  After this we went on a ranger program to a Pueblo village.   I learned a really interesting fact, and it is the Pueblo People think that it is disrespectful to call them Puebloans you should call them Ancestral  Pueblo People. I thought that this was interesting because why do they want to be called Ancestral Pueblo People if they aren't ancient.  Also, I learned that the Ancestral Pueblo People celebrated different ceremonies in their Kivas.  A kiva is an underground area where they used to practice for dances, cure the sick, and rise out of if they were having ceremonies.  A couple examples of the ceremonies were inviting the rain to fall so that the crops can grow or thanking the deer that have sacrificed their lives so that the Ancestral Pueblo People could live. My favorite part of the ranger walk was seeing how the corn was ground.  We had to sit down on the dirt, place some corn on a flat rock and then pound it with another rock until you get corn mash.  I thought that it was fun and funny because the rock that was used for pounding was heavy so it was difficult to pick up.  After the ranger left us we continued hiking to a ladder that would take us 140 ft. in the air.  I was excited and nervous to do this because the ladders didn’t look that sturdy and they were pretty tall.  Once I got started I was fine as long as I didn’t look down or up.  Once we all made it up to the top we went into a kiva and then worked on our junior ranger books.  Once they were completed we climbed back down and then we went to the visitor center to get our junior ranger badge.   After this we went back to the RV and drove to a Walmart.  On the way there we had to drive up and down mountains.  I was scared as we were coming down because they were really narrow and steep.  Once we got to the bottom of the mountain we went into a town called Cuba to get some dinner at a really good Mexican restaurant.  After this we drove the rest of the way to the Walmart and went to bed.  I had a really fun day climbing ladders and seeing the old houses. 
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