Day 17 was a travel day from the Denver area to Las Vegas, New Mexico. We thought our campground was closer to Santa Fe, but not so. New Mexico was high desert, pretty desolate and unpopulated. That pretty much describes the campground where we stayed too. The kids gamely tried out the swimming pool and we snapped a few pictures before they jumped out shivering.
Day 18 was much better. We headed toward Santa Fe and our first stop was the Pecos National Historic Park. This is one of the many locations in New Mexico where you can see where native cliff dwellers or pueblos were located. A very large pueblo community existed at Pecos before the Spanish showed up in the 1600's. The ruins of an old adobe church and underground kivas are still there to explore.
We also confirmed that New Mexico is the land of ants. There are black ants and red ants with really big ant hills. Kent is really susceptible to ant bites, so we were jumping around a bit.
Our next stop was Los Alamos Laboratory. You can't actually go to Los Alamos, but we did find the Bradbury Museum which is a gem of a place dedicated to learning about the work of Los Alamos, especially the Manhattan Project and the first nuclear bomb. It was free and we highly recommend it if you are ever in the Santa Fe area. This is "Fat Man" a replica of the first plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
We probably stayed a little too long at the Bradbury Museum because we didn't get to downtown Santa Fe until just after 5:00 p.m. I was a little disappointed because there were a few places I wanted to show the kids, including Loretto Chapel with the amazing staircase. We trooped all over downtown Santa Fe, looking for a place to eat and finally found a little place where we could have our "last night" dinner which is a tradition for us at the end of vacation.
Tomorrow - goodbye New Mexico, hello Arizona and home!!