New Mexico never fails to enchant me.
I have fallen in love with the natural beauty, the blend of cultures, the food, and of course the history.
I was debating where to go next after my Mill Canyon trip.
Looking over my handy atlas, I noticed some state historic parks near ABQ. And could conveniently be within easy striking distance to meet up with my friends for their Spring Break.
But what were these parks?
Coronado and Jemez are Ancestral Pueblo sites managed by the state of New Mexico.
Surrounded by modern buildings, Coronado is minutes from ABQ. Including a casino run by the descendants of the people who once lived here oddly (or perhaps, not so oddly) enough.
The same reasons why ABQ was developed also made it an attraction for the people who lived here in the 1300s. Mainly, steady water supply and a reasonable climate overall.
The site is of note as Coronado may have camped nearby on his way towards the search for the Seven Cities of Gold. And for the exquisite murals found within the great kiva.
Though photos exist online of both the recovered and the reconstructed murals, there are signs requesting there are no taking of photos. Out of respect, I did not take any photos myself.
I lucked out as I was the only person on a tour given by volunteer docent. The volunteer was very knowledgeable and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
After this tour, I made way further into the mountains to the Jemez Pueblo and the nearby historic site.
I explored the remains of the great kiva. The kiva still looked to be used for ceremonies based on the charred wood found inside.
The remnants of a Spanish mission from the 1600s also exists on the site.
After exploring the Pueblo, I made my way to a campsite at the edge of the Valles Caldera. The flowing stream, the red rock, the setting sun against, and the light chill in the air made for a fitting end to some time spent in New Mexico the past week.
I know I’ll be back again