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New Mexico

Great American Get-Together in Santa Fe

Program No. 20684RJ
Explore local culture as you discover national monuments, historic sites and world-class museums, and learn about Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico from experts.
8 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at

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DATES & starting prices
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2023
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2023
Starting at

At a Glance

Immerse yourself in one of the most fascinating areas in the United States as you join Road Scholars and local experts for a week exploring and learning in beautiful Northern New Mexico. Experience the best of the Southwest with in-depth presentations and field trips to an array of significant historical and cultural sites. Learn about Georgia O'Keeffe, explore world-renowned Museum Hill and visit Bandelier National Monument.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles daily over varied terrain. Standing for up to two hours at a time. Getting on/off motorcoach multiple times a day. Elevation of 7,000 feet for the entire program.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Experience treasures of Northern New Mexico on expert-led field trips to the villages of Taos, Abiquiu and Chimayo.
  • Explore world class museums in Santa Fe and Taos.
  • Hear from local experts about contemporary issues facing Native American populations in the Southwest. Climb up ladders and into caves at Bandelier National Monument

General Notes

Max of 140 participants, divided into smaller groups for activities.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Kirt Kempter
Kirt Kempter received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas at Austin and has visited and studied plate tectonics and related volcanism around the world, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Mexico, and South America. A Fulbright Fellow, Kirt now works for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field geologist, studying the volcanic history of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Kirt Kempter
Kirt Kempter View biography
Kirt Kempter received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Texas at Austin and has visited and studied plate tectonics and related volcanism around the world, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Mexico, and South America. A Fulbright Fellow, Kirt now works for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field geologist, studying the volcanic history of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico.
Profile Image of Jerry Rightman
Jerry Rightman View biography
Who would have ever thought that a retired veterinarian would become a dedicated art lecturer? Jerry Rightman is just that person and is an active member in the art community of Santa Fe, applying his talents as a docent at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. He has received rave reviews for the many years that he has been teaching for Road Scholar.
Profile Image of Mark Utgaard
Mark Utgaard View biography
Mark Utgaard, a resident of New Mexico for 50 years, enjoys sharing New Mexico's wildly diverse cultures and history. For 20 years, Mark and his wife owned a business importing and wholesaling traditional handcrafts from Colombia. Prior to that, he was an award-winning reporter, photographer, and editor for newspapers and public radio. In his free time, Mark likes to play in their gardens and help plan their upcoming explorations. He is learning to play the button accordion.
Profile Image of Christopher Gibson
Christopher Gibson View biography
Christopher Gibson is an award-winning artist, writer and arts educator who makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work includes the Cuentos del Camino series on lower Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe and mixed-media installations at numerous museums in New Mexico and California. Over the years he has written several articles on Hispanic Arts and Culture for the magazines Tradición Revista and Imagen.
Profile Image of Elena Junes
Elena Junes View biography
Elena Ortiz-Junes is a native New Mexican and member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. She has worked for many years as a study leader and group leader for numerous organizations and universities, providing a unique perspective on the region and its rich cultural tapestry. She is a writer and founding board member of Red Media, an indigenous owned and operated media project that highlights Native writers. Elena is also a board member of the University of New Mexico’s Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.
Profile Image of Israel Haros Lopez
Israel Francisco Haros Lopez View biography
Israel Francisco Haros Lopez was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents of Mexican descent. He brings his firsthand knowledge of the realities of migration and life as a Mexican American to his work with families and youth as a mentor, educator, art instructor and activist. He was accepted to U.C. Berkeley, studying for a degree in English Literature and Chicano Studies followed by an M.F.A in Creative Writing. At formal and informal visual art spaces, Israel creates and collaborates in many interdisciplinary ways.
Profile Image of Vannetta Perry
Vannetta Perry View biography
Dr. Vannetta Perry is a retired educator and lifelong resident of New Mexico who is deeply rooted in the southwest. Her family homesteaded and ranched in Southwestern New Mexico and farmed in West Texas. As an educator, Dr. Perry worked in the university setting, teaching biology and directing science outreach programs. Her love for travel was sparked when she led research studies in developing countries. Since retiring, Dr. Perry has continued to share her love of travel and education as a travel director and leader.
Profile Image of Colleen Patrick
Colleen Patrick View biography
A native of Colorado and a relative newcomer to New Mexico, Colleen Patrick has spent a lifetime visiting and learning about Pueblo culture, pottery and the movement of Native Americans and Spaniards throughout New Mexico. Colleen has been in the travel business since 2006, but has been a traveler since her childhood. She learned to appreciate new cultures and new places as a child and has loved sharing new places and cultures with guests for many years.
Profile Image of Rex Lee Jim
Rex Lee Jim View biography
Rex Lee Jim is of the Diné (Navajo) tribe and was born and raised on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Rock Point, Arizona. His grandparents taught him the Navajo Blessing Way. He is a former Vice-President of the Navajo Nation, a poet, playwright, and Medicine Man. He graduated from Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado, and attended Princeton University, Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, and its Oxford University campus in England. Rex Lee Jim advocates for indigenous peoples at the United Nations.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Taos, A Topical History
by Corina A. Santistevan
Profiling the small, but highly influential northern New Mexico town, this collection of 23 essays were written by scholars in a variety of fields, including: archaeology, geology, history, art and literature.
The Great Taos Bank Robbery
by Tony Hillerman
Nine indelible tales of life in New Mexico by the great newspaperman and author of the terrific series of mysteries set on the Navajo Nation.
Anasazi: Ancient People of the Rock
by Muench, David and Pike, Donald G.
The Magic of Bandelier
by David E. Stuart
Guidebook featuring the archeology and anthropology of Bandelier National Monument
Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations
by Lois Ellen Frank
Photographer Lois Ellen Frank spent four years documenting the culinary techniques used on reservations throughout the Southwest, compiling her discoveries into this handsome book, rich in photos and recipes.
In Search of the Old Ones, Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest
by David D. Roberts
An exuberant, engaging account of archaeological adventures in the desert Southwest. Roberts investigates the factors that may have led to the demise of the Anasazi civilization and looks into longstanding controversies.
American Prometheus
by Bird, Kai and Sherwin, Martin
New Mexico Geologic Highway Map
by New Mexico Geological Society
Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History
by Joe Sando
An expansive history of the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico from a Native American perspective. The book explores the origins of the tribe to its current struggles to maintain sovereignty, land and water rights.
A Study of Southwestern Archaeology
by Stephen Lekson
In this volume Steve Lekson argues that, for over a century, Southwestern archaeology got the history of the ancient Southwest wrong. Instead, he advocates an entirely new approach—one that separates archaeological thought in the Southwest from its anthropological home and moves to more historical ways of thinking. Focusing on the enigmatic monumental center at Chaco Canyon, the book provides a historical analysis of how Southwest archaeology confined itself, how it can break out of those confines, and how it can proceed into the future. Lekson suggests that much of what we believe about the ancient Southwest should be radically revised. Looking past old preconceptions brings a different Chaco Canyon into view: more than an eleventh-century Pueblo ritual center, Chaco was a political capital with nobles and commoners, a regional economy, and deep connections to Mesoamerica. By getting the history right, a very different science of the ancient Southwest becomes possible and archaeology can be reinvented as a very different discipline.
The Geology of Northern New Mexico's Parks, Monuments and Public Lands
by L. Greer Price, Editor
Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest
by Stephen Plog, Amy Elizabeth Grey (Illustrator)
This illustrated introduction provides an in-depth look at the ancient cultures that first inhabited the pueblos and cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Organized chronologically, it features hundreds of maps, mostly black-and-white photographs and site diagrams.
New Mexico Wildlife, An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
A handy fold-up card featuring color illustrations of common plants, animals and reptiles of New Mexico.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southwestern States: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah
by Peter Alden
A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the American Southwest.
by Leslie Marmon Silko
A powerful novel about Tayo, a half-white Laguna Pueblo Indian who returns to his reservation after surviving as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II.
Spider Woman's Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women
by Allen, Paula Gunn
Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico, A Sense of Place
by Barbara Buhler Lynes, Lesley Poling-Kempes, Frederick Turner
A catalogue of O'Keeffe paintings pairing 20 original images with modern photographs of the landscapes depicted by the curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.
Recreational Map of New Mexico
by GTR Mapping
A very good fold-out map of New Mexico.
Santa Fe Map
by MapEasy
A plastic-coated, fold-up map of Santa Fe, including Taos and Albuquerque. Size: 18x27 inches.
My Time There: The Art Colonies of Santa Fe and Taos, NM 1956 - 2006
by Dick, R. H.
Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey
One of the great works on the value of the desert, eloquent and laugh-out-loud funny. Although Abbey writes specifically about his experiences as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah, his message is universal.
The Spell of New Mexico
by Tony Hillerman (Editor)
A selection of 12 thoughtful essays on the New Mexico state of mind by great writers, including C.G. Jung, Mary Austin, D.H. Lawrence and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman succeeds in communicating the lure of the desert Southwest in this wonderful, literate introduction to the state.
The Book of the Navajo
by Locke, Raymond Friday
Ancient Child
by Momaday, N. Scott
Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place
by Buhler Lynes/Poling-Kempes/Turner
Anasazi America
by David Stuart
A thought-provoking, engaging account of the rise and fall of Anasazi society in the desert southwest.
Indian Arts of the Southwest
by Susanne Page
Featuring color photographs of the basketry, pottery, weaving, jewelry, and carvings of 200 noted artists, this book is both a collector's guide and cultural history of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo peoples and other native peoples.
Dark Beauty, Photographs of New Mexico
by Jack Parsons
Southwest photographer Parsons presents the rugged landscapes and the people of New Mexico, exploring religious iconography, far-flung ranches, small towns and wide open spaces in this full-color coffee table book.
Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life
by Robinson, Roxana
Taco Table
by Lois Ellen Frank
A handbook for creating these Southwestern staples with easy to prepare recipes, from homemade tortillas to meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian fillings, to salsas that top them off.
Bandelier National Monument Map
by Trails Illustrated
A detailed map of Bandelier National Monument at a scale of 1:29,000.
American Indian Myths and Legends
by Alfonso Ortiz and Richard Erdoes
More than 160 tales from eighty tribal groups gives us a rich and lively panorama of the Native American mythic heritage. From across the continent comes tales of creation and love; heroes and war; animals, tricksters, and the end of the world. In addition to mining the best folkloric sources of the nineteenth century, the editors have also included a broad selection of contemporary Native American voices.
Portrait of an Artist, A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe
by Laura Lisle
Lisle shows how O'Keeffe was both changed and inspired by her Southwestern surroundings in this insightful biography of Georgia O'Keeffe.
DK Eyewitness Top Ten Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring the best natural and cultural attractions of the region.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.