Petroglyphs; Sun, Wind, and Inner Peace.

What is The Spirit of the American Southwest?

 It is a body of rich Traditions: Native American spirituality, Spanish culture, Mexican resilience, and the wild, rugged and free character of the American cowboy.

History has blurred ethnicity lines, and although several features of these strong traditions can be identified in the elements of the Southwestern culture, they are, simultaneously, one in substance and nature – The Spirit of the American Southwest.

Native American Spirituality is without a doubt the chief influence and foundational creative force in the Spirit of the Southwest. Being able to experience the Southwest means being in direct contact with its essential elements, and these Petroglyphs speak of that holy communion between man and nature.

The Spirit won’t admit your problems and worries. It won’t allow distractions or lack of commitment. It requires your full focus and undivided attention. It needs a clear mind in order to make a connection with your soul.

The petroglyphs at Three Rivers testify to the connection that can be made.

Take a 360 look at this 360 degree Virtual Tour.

How to Find Fossils in New Mexico…

This is a question I had to ask! Leonard Witter came out of his Fossil Works lab at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

I was watching him through the glass, working on a fossil with a couple of sharp tools, and  a magnifying glass. He was focused, but noticed me staring. I smiled. He also smiled and then came out to see me.

He explained a bit about what he was doing, then I asked a couple of short questions and interrupted his answers by asking the one I really, really wanted to know.

Natural History Museums are a family favorite wherever we go. And the last time we visited Albuquerque, we just had to stop by.

Dad and the kids were almost done looking at the exhibition right next to Fossil Works, and before they came back, I really had to ask how could our family find fossils in the area where we live. I recorded his answer because I thought you would also like to know.

Valley of Fires and Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Screenshot_20171020-091013Carrizozo, New Mexico is about an hour away from Alamogordo and at about 40 mins from Ruidoso. But if you are in Albuquerque you will take a bit over 2 hrs.

I love the drive. The plains early in the morning or late during the evening are just gorgeous.

I think of the wild, wild, west during these drives…The Spirit of The Southwest is definitely for me!

The Valley of Fires Recreation Area has several campsites (some with hook-ups!), and provides access to the Carrizozo Malpais; a petrified lava flow on the west side of the town.

We enjoy bringing our picnic most of the time, but this beautiful, small, southwestern town has several eateries as well. There are picnic tables, and a big shelter with a fabulous view. This is one of my favorite places to picnic with the fam.

We camped here once before and the experience was exhilarating. The darkness, the sounds of the wild, and a feeling of being so close to nature; it could bite me. Glow sticks, finger flash lights and dinner by the fire made for great family time. This was my first time making biscuits in a Dutch oven covered with embers. I felt like a real camper!

It does get quite windy, and during the summer months the sun can be very harsh. We have found that visiting during the Fall is the best time. But don’t skip a visit to the town of Carrizozo!

You will want to visit the Carrizozo Heritage Museum and go back in time to see how life used to be in Carrizozo and the area.

If you are looking for New Mexican Art, you will love these two Carrizozo Treasures: The Tularosa Basin Photography Gallery, and The Malkerson Gallery on 12th street. (Find a map here)

Now, there is a challenge Carrizozo has for visitors interested in a fun activity right after dinner: The Burro Challenge. 21 Painted Burros have been placed around town, and you might be able to locate them all if you keep your eyes open. Share your selfies on Instagram with #PaintedBurros and #Carrizozo

We are already planning our next visit (It’s fall!) and will definitely be sharing more on the Spirit of The Southwest we found in Carrizozo, NM.

The outdoors, natural wonders, and history! Take the virtual tour of Valley of Fires Recreational Area: