When our group arrived at Zuni, we immediately went to the museum to meet with Jim Enote, the man whose land we were going to be staying on and who would be hosting us for our time on the Zuni reservation. After a fantastic tour of his museum as well as getting to learn of the Zuni origin story we were allowed to see a ceremonial dance before setting off to our camp ground with Jim. Along the way, Jim led us to Hawikuh and gave us another history lesson on the area before we continued onward towards Jim’s land. The next morning, Jim brought us to a beautiful mesa. We bushwhacked up to the top before arriving to a breath taking view of a valley at which point we stopped for lunch. After lunch we found a different path down that showed signs of being the main way up and down the mesa. That night, we turned in early because of fierce windstorms that made it difficult not only to cook but also nigh impossible to have a safe fire going. Our second day on Jim’s land, we traveled to El Morro, a large rock formation with a large pool of water that everyone would stop at when they traveled through the area. All along the rock face, you could see inscriptions made by the Zuni ancestors, the Spanish army and both American soldiers and pioneers. Our third day at Jim’s, we picked enough onions to fill a large bag that Jim was kind enough to give to us and helped him take down a fence. We packed up our stuff after taking down the fence before a large rainstorm that had the possibility of becoming a snowstorm hit the area.

Check out this video with commentary by Jim Enote about protecting the Colorado plateau: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rhHLIiuMQ4

We drove toward El Morro and stayed at a RV park that had cabins for us to use. The place was run by a group known as the Radical Fairies, an open and excepting group whose lives revolve around living off the land, being self sufficient. Our first night at Ancient Way Café they cooked us a dinner knowing we were travelers, and being truthful and kind human beings. We returned the favor the next night by cooking up some Thai curry. During our stay, we visited another National park called El Malpais, which translates to “The Badlands.” The area once had active volcanoes and there lava flows created multiple caves that we got to explore. We left the next day in Halloween attire with our next destination being Chaco Canyon, the center of the ancient pueblos. That night, the group participated in a pumpkin carving competition and later displayed the finished pumpkins on top of the Road Whale for the other campers to see. We toured the ruins today. We had a fantastic tour of the great house, Pueblo Bonito, from interpretive ranger Paula, who shared with us interesting stories and awkward moments that she will never forget. We feel honored to be her last tour group of the season and we are thankful for her hooking us up with some mad firewood. Tomorrow, free travel will be starting where we plan to start at Jemez hot springs.

The group would like to give our deepest gratitude to the guys at Ancient Way Café for taking us in right before the snowstorm and giving us a reduced price the second night for the cabin we were in. We will cherish the time we spent with you all and wish you all a wonderful life.

-Sir Erich

 

Jane – THIS ONE IS FOR THE RAINBOWS!!! Shout out to Redwulf for making the most delicious baked goods ever. Hi mom. Happy birthday Sam. Also happy birthday to me.

Conner – And I climbed on the back of a giant toad, and flew off into the stars, and I was never heard from again.

Tom – Rationality minimizes that which it does not understand.  Maintain an open mind and heart and in so doing, find truth in your life.

Angie – SNS 4 life

Benji – Shout out to Britt, Michelle and Momo because… because.

Erich –  My hands have gotten really cold typing all this.

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Camping out on Zuni Nation while spending the days with Jim Enote
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El Morro

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Here we have Jane the French Lumber Joc and Makee, one of the Radical Faeries that opened their doors and hearts to us.
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At Ancient Way cafe, near El Morro, the wisdom not only comes from the people there but it is also on many of the walls in the form of paintings, photography, and signs like this.
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Our quant and tiny cabin at Ancient Way that kept us warm during the first day of snowfall.

 

 

Size of Cave hole entrance
At Malpais park, this cave was made by an ancient lava tunnel. Getting ready to descend into the Earth…
About to enter the cave
…and having fun doing it.
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Our cave adventure takes us deep into the shadows. Nothing like the end of your journey ending with skull and cross bones.
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Still at Malpais, exploring the ancient cinder cone volcano crater.
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Malpais. The guys ascend a nearby hill made nearly entirely of cinder.

 

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Benji learns how to fly…finally(!)

 

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Halloween: The Indian prince and his loyal unicorn friend.
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Connori is proud to show off his brand new hippy pants. Check out his fabulous thighs.
Halloween costumes and posing with Maki
A departing picture from Ancient Way cafe and campgroud with group and Makee on Halloween day. We head for Chaco…
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After arriving in Chaco we do not hesitate to partake in the Halloween pastime of pumpkin carving.


Posing with our pumpkins

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Chaco. Pueblo Bonito. Ancient ruins of building and kiva.

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Thank you Paula for the informative, insightful, and hilarious tour through Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon! May you have a good journey to wherever life takes you next.