Registration with the program's group leader begins at 4:00 PM and ends at 5:30 PM.Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room from 6:00 - 7:00 PMEvening: Welcome, introductions, and orientation in hotel meeting room from 7:00 - 8:30 PMLodging: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa FeMeals Included: Dinner
Discuss the Jemez Mountain range and the Valles Caldera, the White Rock Overlook, and Bandelier National Park.
You'll also be introduced to selected works of world-famous artists who painted the light on the mountains, hills and valleys as they changed during the day and varied varied by season.
At 9:45 AM, bus will depart to downtown Santa Fe, where you'll visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Research Center for a tour at 11:15, and the New Mexico State Museum of Art, where you'll begin to see some of the landscapes portrayed by various artists.Lunch: Lunch at Santa Fe's downtown Blue Corn Cafe. This restaurant, located on Water Street, is also a micro-brewery, and is a favorite hangout for Santa Fe locals.
You can request chile on the side, if you order New Mexican food, or there will be salads and sandwiches on the menu as well.Afternoon: At 1:30 PM, bus will take a short trip to Two-Mile Reservoir just outside of Santa Fe.
You'll have a short geology walk in this land preserved by the Nature Conservancy, where you'll begin your exploration of Northern New Mexico's geology. The walk is over uneven, rocky terrain with a round-trip distance of approximately two miles.
Begin to understand the rock strata specific to the region, and discover what these rocks tell us about the evolution of life and land....a continuing theme throughout the program.
After the walk, the bus will depart for a first-hand overview of the area in and around Santa Fe. Become acquainted with the surrounding mountain ranges and note the variety of landscape and terrain that makes this area so attractive to artists and geologists alike.
Bus returns to the hotel about 5:00 PM.
The walk is over uneven, rocky terrain with a round-trip distance of approximately two miles.Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 - 7:00 PMEvening: From 7:00 - 8:00 PM, you'll enjoy a PBS video about Georgia O'Keeffe. This video features Ms. O'Keeffe, talking about her love of New Mexico and her life as an artist.Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa FeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning, you'll travel north of Santa Fe to the outlying areas of Los Alamos. You'll be overwhelmed by the glorious mountains of the area, and surprised by the differences in the landscape in a 40-mile distance from Santa Fe.
First, you'll visit the one-million-year old Valles Caldera (volcanic crater) that is 15 miles in diameter and the centerpiece of the Jemez Volcanic Field in northern New Mexico.
The caldera was formed when the volcanic pile collapsed in response to a huge eruption of ash from the magma chamber.
ubsequent resurgence of magma formed domes along the caldera ring fracture, including Redondo Peak which is over 3,000 feet above the Caldera floor.
In 1999, the U.S. government reached an agreement to buy the 95,000 acre Baca Ranch, which encompassed most of the Valles Caldera, for $101 million to permanently protect it as national preserve lands.
The walk into the Caldera is over uneven, slightly hilly ground, and will be no more than one mile round trip.Lunch: Eat your boxed lunches, either at the Valles Caldera or on the bus, depending on weather and timing.Afternoon: At approximately 12:30 PM, bus will depart for White Rock Overlook.
The Overlook, just outside of Los Alamos, NM, is a favorite park of tourists and residents alike. It provides magnificent views of the Rio Grande. The cliffs surrounding the area again illustrate the rock strata of the region.
Observe a variety of geological formations in the area, where your geologist explains how they were formed throughout thousands of years of varying climatic conditions.
After you see the Overlook, bus will continue on to Bandelier National Monument.
Bandelier's human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons.
By 1150 CE, Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park as are the strong ties to modern Pueblo people.
Several thousand Ancestral Pueblo dwellings are found among the pink mesas and sheer-walled canyons. They were inhabited from the 1100s to the mid-1500s.
In 1880, Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier to Frijoles Canyon, and showed him his people's ancestral homelands.
In 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed a document creating Bandelier National Monument.
You can walk or hike here depending on your physical condition; the two round-trip walks offered by your geologist study guide and his assistant will be one mile round trip or two miles round-trip, and you may choose which you prefer. Terrain is rocky and uneven, with some incline involved, but the easy walk will be a slow and comfortable one, while the longer walk will be a little more strenous.
Bus departs for hotel about 4:30 PM. Check-in at hotel around 5:00 PM.Dinner: Dinner from 6:30 - 7:30 PM at hotelEvening: Free evening to enjoy the casino and lounge, or just to relax.Lodging: Santa Claran HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Board bus at 9:30 AM for drive to Poshuoinge archeological district, with its many canyons and rock formations, and Plaza Blanca, immortalized as "The White Place" in a 1940 painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, where the sandstone cliffs, spires, and oddly shaped rocks create an otherwordly, contemplative retreat that glows golden in the late-afternoon light.
Poshuoinge, or "village at the place of the green bubbling hot springs," is near Ojo Caliente, the only natural hot springs in the world with a combination of four geothermal mineral waters.
Once considered sacred by the ancestors of today's Tewa tribes, the ancient peoples built their Poshuoinge pueblo overlooking the springs. You'll walk over uneven terrain for about one mile, round trip.
Plaza Blanca walk is 1.5 miles round trip with 100 foot elevation difference.
Tucked back into the folds of the land, Plaza Blanca is an eerie geological formation of luminous gray stone formed from volcanic ash some twenty-five million years ago.
The soft rock has eroded into stately tapered mounds, which seem like sentinels guarding the canyon's entrance.
The wind-and-water-worn forms are pale versions of the sandstone hoodoos seen in places such as Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
Board bus for trip to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch area.Lunch: Lunch at the Abiquiu Inn's restaurant, Cafe Abiquiu.
There will be a selection of sandwiches and a choice of dessert.
Afternoon: After lunch, the bus will continue to the Abiquiu/Ghost Ranch area.
The Abiquiu Village was settled following a 1754 Spanish land grant to Hispanicized Indians and was a frontier settlement.
It was a trade center for Plains and Pueblo Indians in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It is located on private land similar to an Indian Pueblo, so you must obtain permission to take photos. The village and its location have been subject to many artists' renderings of the area.
After looking around at Abiquiu and the geology surrounding it, bus will continue on to Ghost Ranch Conference Center.
Now a Presbyterian Conference Center, Ghost Ranch hosts many kinds of programs and conferences.
Your geologist and group leader will take you to some of the sites where Georgia O'Keeffe painted when she lived on the property. Her house is on private land and is not open to the public, but you can see the outside of the home.
The Ghost Ranch area is surrounded by red, gray, and yellow hills, including Kitchen Mesa, that O'Keeffe painted many times. The geology of the area is fascinating.
Also, paleontologists worldwide are drawn to the area, because Ghost Ranch was the location of the articulated fossils of the Coelophysis.
It has one of the richest quarries of the Triassic era, which began 220 million years ago.
You'll visit the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology, and will see displays ranging from a complete Coelophysis cas skeleton to remains from great alligator-like reptiles.
Some short walks on the property will complete the afternoon. Bus departs for hotel.Dinner: Dinner at the hotelLodging: Hotel Don Fernando de TaosMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bus departs at 8:30 AM for Taos traveling along the Rio Grande. The craggy cliffs surrounding the highway and the beauty of the riverbanks is a spectacular sight. Your drive will take a turn towards the Sipapu Ski Basin north of Taos. Located in the Carson National Forest, the Sipapu Ski Basin is one of the most popular ski areas in New Mexico. Some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest is found in the 1.5 million acres covered by the Carson National Forest. Elevations rise from 6.00 feet to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico.
As you travel, your study guide will discuss the geology of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains in the world. They 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, and more than two dozen over 13,000'.
Upon your arrival arrive in Taos you will visit the Harwood Museum at 11:30 AM to see examples of famous artists' works.
Lunch: Bus arrives in downtown Taos. Your group leader will recommend several restaurants (there are many within a four block area). Lunch will be on your own.Afternoon: The afternoon will be free for exploration of the Taos Plaza and the art gallery-rich streets surrounding the Plaza.
You'll see many landscape artists' works in the galleries, and be impressed by their renderings of the geological beauty of northern New Mexico.
Bus will pick you up at selected location and take you to the hotel for check-in around 4:00 PM.Dinner: Dinner will be at the Trading Post Cafe in Taos from 6:00 - 7:30 PM.
Bus returns to the hotel.Evening: Free eveningLodging: Hotel Don Fernando de TaosMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
The Rio Grande Rift, at least the section that runs through northern NM, is not a typical river that has carved out its own valley. Rather, the valley appeared first and the river followed. This "rift valley" is a separation in the earth's crust caused by faulting and other earth movements when the North American and Pacific plates scraped against each other some twenty-nine million years ago.
As pressures from the scraping plates caused the earth's crust to crinkle, Colorado and New Mexico rose nearly 5,000 feet.
The Rio Grande, then a stream trickling down from near present-day Leadville, Colorado, flowed into four basins forming a 340-mile-long line between the river's headwaters and the vicinity of Socorro, NM. The heat from ongoing geologic activity showed up in hot springs along the Rio Grande. In the 19th and 20th centuries, prospectors and miners flocked to NM attracted by deposits of gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, and molybdenum that rose from deep in the earth as super-hot, mineral-rich solutions along the Rio Grande Rift.
At 10:00 the bus departs for the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, formed as the Rio Grande cut a deep canyon through incredibly varied geologic formations The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge carries U.S. Highway 64 across the river about 13 miles northwest of Taos.
Bus will arrive in Santa Fe around 4:30 PM.
Lunch: Boxed lunches at designated location.Afternoon: During the time you're near the Sipapu Ski Basin, you'll have some brief walks to look at landscapes and geologic formations as determined by the group leader.
Walking will be over uneven, rocky terrain, and walks will be short (less than 1/2 mile).
At 3:00 PM, bus will depart for Santa Fe.
The return trip will be on U.S. 285, which travels alongside the Rio Grande as it flows toward Santa Fe. The craggy cliffs surrounding the highway and the beauty of the riverbanks is a spectacular sight.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains in the world. They 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, and more than two dozen over 13,000'.
Bus arrives in Santa Fe around 5:00 PM.Dinner: Check-in and dinner at the hotel in Santa Fe from 6:00 - 7:00 PM.Evening: Wrap up what we've learned during our program closing in hotel meeting room from 7:00 - 8:00 PM.Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa FeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Check-out is no later than 12:00 noon.Meals Included: Breakfast