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On the Road: The Geology of Northern New Mexico

Program Number: 16561RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2013 - 5/18/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price starting at: $1,149.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road; Natural History
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Uncover a fascinating geologic story beneath northern New Mexico’s landscapes. With an expert geologist, visit Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Bandelier National Monument, White Rock Overlook, the Valles Caldera and more. The enchanting landscape of northern New Mexico has long inspired artists captivated by its beauty and expanse.




Highlights

• Experience the one-million-year old Valles Caldera (volcanic crater) formed in response to a eruption of ash from the magma chamber.
• Discover the White Rock Overlook with its magnificent views of the Rio Grande; the surrounding cliffs illustrate the rock strata of the region.
• Explore Bandelier National Monument’s 10,000-year history, when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles with rest stops over packed dirt, sometimes rocky, fairly even terrain. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Santa Fe, 2 nights; coach to Espanola, 1 night; coach to Taos, 2 nights; coach to Santa Fe, 1 night; departure.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Espanola

Located in the northern Rio Grande Valley between the Jemez Mountains and Truchas Peaks, the small city of Española is a perfect base for exploring the natural beauty of northern New Mexico. Española was founded by the Spanish in 1598 as Spain’s capital in America. Los Alamos National Lab, about 30 miles away, is the city’s largest employer.



Taos

Home to Pueblo Indians long before Spanish missionaries established an outpost in 1617, by the early 1800s, Taos was the largest fur trading center in the West. Native American traditions and the natural beauty of surrounding mountains abound in this vibrant, northern New Mexico community favored by artists since the late 1800s.



Santa Fe

A cosmopolitan city famous for its world-renowned opera, chamber and choral music and for its art and artists, Santa Fe is situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Nearby, eight historic, continuously occupied pueblos and small Hispanic villages divulge a heritage that is impeccably preserved in this multi-cultural state capital.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotels.
Meals and Lodgings
   DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
  Santa Fe, New Mexico 2 nights
   Santa Claran Hotel
  Espanola, New Mexico 1 night
   Comfort Suites
  Taos, New Mexico 2 nights
   DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
  Santa Fe, New Mexico 1 night
 DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The hotel is designed to reflect the spirit and culture of Santa Fe. Six miles from downtown's Historic Plaza area, the hotel is near public transportation.
  Contact info: 4048 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87507 USA
phone: 505-473-4646
web: www.santafe.doubletree.com
  Room amenities: Rooms feature Southwestern decor. You'll also find hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, dataports, refrigerators upon request, cable television, and more. Rooms feature luxurious Sweet Dreams by Double Tree Sleep Experience beds, in-room coffee maker with Wolfgang Puck coffee, in-room Wi-Fi, 37-inch HDTV, room service, and more.
  Facility amenities: Indoor-outdoor heated pool and spa surrounded by adobe-style patio, 24-hour business center, complimentary printing service, fax, Notary Public, photo copying service, automated teller (ATM), coin operated laundry, laundry/valet service, local area transportation, lounge, multi-lingual staff, news stand, room service, safety deposit box, snack shop, fitness room, on-site restaurant and more.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: best seasonal rates Arrange for pre and post stays directly with hotel at (505) 473-4646
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: best seasonal rates Arrange for pre and post stays directly with hotel at (505) 473-4646
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Santa Claran Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Located on ancestral lands of modern-day Santa Clara Pueblo tribe; short distance from ancestral cliff dwellings at Puye Cliff Dwellings; features art work from the Santa Clara Pueblo artists; smoke-free.
  Contact info: 464 N. Riverside Drive
Espanola, NM 87532 USA
phone: 505-367-4900
web: www.santaclaranc.om
  Room amenities: Free high-speed Internet access, lovely hand-carved furniture with Southwest-style accessories; hand-made vanities in bathrooms with double sinks; room service, irons, ironing boards, hair dryers, in-room coffee, hotel is non-smoking facility
  Facility amenities: 24-hour fitness center with latest cardio equipment; 24-hour business center with computer, printer, universal fax and copying machine and shipping supplies; Starbucks on premises; easy access to Santa Claran Casino and its three superb dining venues; traditional style and simple, elegant design; smoke-free hotel
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Comfort Suites
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located just on the outskirts of downtown Taos, the historic Plaza is just a few miles away. Associated with the Sagebrush Inn and Conference Center, the facility has pretty grounds and landscaping around it and lots of areas to explore.
  Contact info: 1500 Paseo del Pueblo Sur
Taos, NM 87571 USA
phone: 575-751-1555
web: www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-taos-new_mexico-NM017?amp;promo=gglocal
  Room amenities: Irons and ironing boards, cable/satellite TV, free high-speed Internet, free local calls, in-room air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, microwave, refrigerators
  Facility amenities: Hotel offers banquet and meeting rooms, a convention center, use of the copy machine, interior corridors, outdoor heated pool, outdoor whirlpool/hot tub, free newspapers Monday-Friday, outdoor parking, a restaurant, and wireless Internet service. The hotel is 100% smoke-free.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the hotel lobby for registration with the program's group leader. You may check into the hotel anytime after 3:00 pm. You will be staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after buffet breakfast in hotel dining room between 7:00 and 9:00 am; checkout by noon. You will be staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. No special documents or waivers required
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Santa Fe, New Mexico
  Nearest city or town:  Albuquerque, NM
  Nearest highway: Interstate 25
  Nearest airport:  Albuquerque Sunport
  From End of Program
  Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Santa Fe

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sandia Shuttle Express
phone: 888-775-5696
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$27
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 70 minutes 

   

Let shuttle service know, when you make reservations, when you'll be returning to Albuquerque. This shuttle also picks up and delivers to the Albuquerque AMTRAK STATION. Reservations for the shuttles must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your travel date or your place will not be guaranteed on the shuttle.

 

Albuquerque

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sandia Shuttle Express
phone: 888-775-5696
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$27
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 70 minutes 

   

Let shuttle service know, when you make reservations, the hotel where you'll need to be dropped off in Santa Fe and when you wish to return to Albuquerque. This shuttle also picks up and delivers to the Albuquerque AMTRAK STATION. Reservations for the shuttles must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your travel date, or your place will not be guaranteed on the shuttle.

 
Driving Directions
  Albuquerque International Airport Exit airport west onto Sunport Boulevard, which will take you to Interstate 25. Go north on I-25 to Santa Fe exit 278, Cerrillos Road (approximately 55-60 miles). Travel about 2.5 miles into Santa Fe. DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe is at the intersection of Airport/Rodeo Road and Cerrillos Road and will be on your RIGHT. There is a stoplight at that intersection: the DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe is about a block further.
  I-25 (all directions) From Albuquerque (I-25) or from Denver (I-25), or from Las Vegas, NM (I-25), exit onto Cerrillos Road (exit 278). Go approximately two miles into town; the DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe is located on your right, just after the major intersection of Rodeo/Airport and Cerrillos Road. The hotel address is 4048 Cerrillos Road.
Elevation Note: Santa Fe elevation is 7,000 feet - Taos elevation is 7,500'

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Santa Fe, NM
(Sunday, May 12)
   
 Arrive To: Hotel check in anytime after 3:00 PM.

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 PM
 Evening: Welcome, introductions, and orientation in hotel meeting room from 7:00 - 8:30 PM
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to Geology of Northern New Mexico/Blue Corn Cafe and Micro-Brewery/Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument/PBS Video about Georgia O'Keeffe
(Monday, May 13)

Note: Walking over uneven terrain for up to 2 miles



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room from 7:00 - 8:00 AM
 Morning: From 8:15 AM until 10:30 AM, the study leader/geologist will give you an overview of northern New Mexico's unique landscape and geologic formations caused by a variety of earth processes.

Pick up boxed lunches after class.

At 11:00 AM, the bus will depart for a field trip to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Located 40 miles southeast of Santa Fe, Tent Rocks includes a national recreation trail through unique, cone-shaped rock formations, after which the monument was named. The Cave Loop trail is 1.2 miles long; the more difficult Canyon Trail is 3 miles round trip.

 Lunch: Boxed lunches at the Monument
 Afternoon: Explore Kasha-Katuwe National Monument untill 3:30 PM, when the bus will depart for return to Santa Fe
 Dinner: Dinner at Blue Corn Cafe on Rodeo Road. This restaurant 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.

 Evening: From 7:30 - 8:30 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.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Valles Caldera/Bandelier National Monument and White Rock Overlook
(Tuesday, May 14)

Note: Walking over uneven terrain for up to 2 miles



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: After hotel check-out, take your luggage to bus for loading. Departure at 9:00 AM.

This morning, you'll travel to Valles Caldera by way of Jemez Springs. You'll be overwhelmed by the glorious mountains of the area, and surprised by the differences in the landscape along the way.

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.

Subsequent 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: Lunch at the Ridgeback Cafe in Jemez Springs
 Afternoon: After lunch, the bus will depart for 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 Espanola at 4:30 PM, with a stop a the 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.

Check-in at hotel around 5:30 PM.

 Dinner: Dinner from 6:30 - 7:30 PM at Chili's restaurant
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy the casino and lounge, or just to relax.
   
Accommodations: Santa Claran Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Abiquiu Area/Abiquiu Inn/Ghost Ranch/Taos
(Wednesday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:00 - 8:00 AM
 Morning: Hotel checkout. Bus departs at 9:00 AM for drive to the Abiquiu region, made famous by numerous paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. There will be a lecture on board the bus en route.

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.

 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 Ghost Ranch area.

Now a Presbyterian Conference Center, Ghost Ranch hosts many kinds of programs and conferences.

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.

Bus continues on to Taos, traveling along the Rio Grande. The craggy cliffs surrounding the highway and the beauty of the riverbanks is a spectacular sight.

Hotel check-in at the Comfort Suites in Taos.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Comfort Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Taos Plaza and Free Time/Rio Grande Gorge Bridge/Enchanted Circle Route
(Thursday, May 16)

Note: Walking up to two miles on both even and uneven terrain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:00 - 8:00 AM
 Morning: This morning there will be a class with your study guide on the Ice Age and New Mexico. The bus then departs for Taos Plaza where you will have some free time and lunch on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch will be on your own. Your group leader can offer some restaurant recommendations in the area.
 Afternoon: At 2:00 PM the bus will depart for a visit to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and a scenic drive along the route of the "Enchanted Circle" north of Taos.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Video in hotel meeting room: "Volcanoes of New Mexico"
   
Accommodations: Comfort Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: St. Francis de Asis Mission Church/Penasco Area/Village of Chimayo/Lunch at Rancho de Chimayo/Santa Fe/Dinner at the Hotel/Program Closing
(Friday, May 17)

Note: Walking up to two miles on both even and uneven terrain



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room from 7:00 - 8:00 AM. Check out and take luggage to bus loading area by 8:30 AM.
 Morning: Bus departs for Santa Fe. There will be a visit to St. Francis de Asis mission church in Rancho de Taos. This adobe structure has been featured in the works of numerous artists and photographers, including Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams.

The bus then continues on to the village of Chimayo, by way of Penasco. You'll stop for some brief walks in the Penasco area to see the landscape and geologic formations.

On arrival in Chimayo, you'll stop for a visit to the Santuario de Chimayo. The Santuario has been called "The Lourdes of Northern New Mexico" because the soil in a back room of the church is reputed to have healing properties.

 Lunch: Lunch at Rancho de Chimayo
 Afternoon: Bus continues on to Santa Fe, where you will have some free time in the downtown Plaza area before going to the hotel for check-in.
 Dinner: 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
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Fe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Breakfast and Hotel Checkout
(Saturday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel between 6:30 and 9:30 AM. Independent departures.

Check-out is no later than 12:00 noon.

   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Living the Sky


Author: Williamson, Ray


100 Hikes in New Mexico (2nd edition)


Author: Martin, Craig


Edge of Taos Desert


Author: Luhan, Mabel Dodge


Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place


Author: Buhler Lynes/Poling-Kempes/Turner


Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life


Author: Robinson, Roxana


Hiking Adventures in Northern New Mexico


Author: Salzman, Joan


Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe


Author: Lisle, Laurie


Pueblos of the Rio Grande: A Visitor's Guide


Author: Daniel Gibson


Description: One of the best and most definitive books on the Pueblos along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Information about pueblo events including feast days and special dances included, as well as a page or two of information about the origination and history of each pueblo. An excellent book for anyone interested in New Mexico's pueblos and the people who keep the traditions alive.



Santa Fe and Taos: The Writer's Era 1916-1941


Author: Weigle, Marta & Fior, Kyle


Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature


Author: Anderson, Lorraine


Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women


Author: Allen, Paula Gunn




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