Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow Day

Today the schools were closed for a snowday so we went with friends sleding at a park in Santa Fe, it was crisp and clear and COLD but the sleding was a blast. Madeline's interest was limited by her feeling cold. So we headed foor hot chocolate after which was enjoyed by all.
I felt not crashing the car was one of my biggest achievements for the day especially consideering how often the ABS felt the need to come on. It was fine, everyone was driving in slow motion on the iced snowy roads. Corners were when I had to remember to turn slow aand wide. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We woke up to this today. So encouraging getting dressed and coats on wasn't as hard as it can be some days.
The whole town is transformed from a brown dusty desert to a lumionously clean puffy white place. There's no wind so snow balances on the wires and sits on the tops of the abode buildings like icing.

Once of the activities at school was dye droppers into roasting pans of snow.

It's snowing on and off and as Madeline and I walked out of school she was bothered by the snowflakes on her eyelashes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Since sunday the weather forecasters have been telling us that we might get snow on tuesday night and wednesday. I thought getting some warm coats for the kids would be a good idea. Liam especially needed a new coat. Now thwy just need the snow! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's definately getting colder

This weekend we finally ventured south. We went down the turquoise trail to just south of Alberquerque, and the salt missions trail there were little old Spanish style villages and lots of ruined houses. We headed into the Manzano Mountains and did a short walk on the 4th of July trail. The campgrounds are closed now, 'for resource protection'. We found another campsite and pitched our tent. The boys collected firewood and then I lit the fire. We cooked our dinner on the fire. I was cold going to bed until I realised my mat was flat, once I moved onto the inflated mat we all spent a pleasant night. Sunday we drove on to mountainair and the Salinas pueblo mission National monument.
So we spent several days in Fort Collins, it's a very pretty town. I enjoyed the bungalow style houses, it unusually, has a train track running down the middle of the main road, not the most convinent thing for traffic planning I would have thought, but my children enjoyed seeing the trains.
our first day was spent at the discovery center where we looked at and played with all sorts of science things one of which was building a stegosaus skeleton about 2 metres long and 1 metre high. We spent a day at the park, museum and library and our last day we drove to Estes Park and visited the Rocky Mountain National Park, it was just a quick look and drive through, but we managed to complete the junior ranger program and get the badge.

We drove down to Denver for the weekend and visited with several of Richard's collegues who live there. We also visited Joseph and his family. We'd meet Joseph when had came to New Zealand to do some GIS workshops with mum. It was lovely to meet his family, and our kids enjoyed playing with his girls mostly unraking the leaves in the yard.
We had a look at red rocks and some dinosaur tracks. But to soon our time was up and we drove back to Santa Fe.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Local customs must be observed

Richard felt the need to try on Liams costume. I think it looks better on Liam.

Madeline had some practical additions to her fairy costume given the almost freezing temperatures. Our neighbourhood is supposed to be 'good' for trick or treating but we had arranged to go with friends in their neighbourhood. Now we have too much candy, and we only did about 1/2 hours trick or treating. Madeline thanked everyone, thou she didn't manage the trick or treat bit. Liam enjoyed going with his friends, and the other adults made for an interesting walk.
We left straight after for Fort Collins, 7 1/2 hours north

Hide and hide?

The problems with playing hide and seek with your two year old sister seem to be, you need to hide fast, since she doesn't count, and you need to hide often, since she only seeks. If your happy with these constrains the resulting games brings much squeeling and lots of running around the house.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Almost a month ago now we drove up to Canyon de Chelly. We left as usually on friday night and headed up to El Morro National monument, which has camping and related to it being in the Navajo Reservation the camping is free. El Morro is a Large rock outcrop with a pool that is not big, but about 12 foot deep when completely full. It's feed by runoff from the rock and is the only water source for about 30 miles. So in the early days everyone stopped here for a drink. While they were here they left their mark on the rock so it has inscriptions from indian petroglyphs and Spanish commanders some in very elaborate script, so I guess they remembered to bring the stone carver with them. Madeline was our guide. From there we headed to Gallup and on through Window Rock along some BLM roads to Canyon de Chelly, we got a flat tyre which ment we were back onto the space saver tyre, this didn't slow us down any since the roads weren't up to more than 50 miles anyway. Our first lookout on the canyon rim was spider rock, in Navajo legend this place is home to spider woman who taught them to weave.
The guard rails on lots of the outlooks in National Parks don't really seem designed for safety all Liam and Madeline want to do is climb on them. So Madeline spent most of the time getting in and out of the backpack. Liam was really good about holding hands and keeping safe.
We camped at the campgrounds of the National Monument which we nice the weather however was not. We had thunder, rain and hail just after we got the tents up. There had been weather like this the previous day as well so we decided it would be better not to do the walk down into the canyon to the white house ruins. We viewed the north rim view sites and headed for Shiprock in hopes of finding a tyre repairer for our flat tyre. There are plenty of tyre repair places in and around Shiprock, we were lucky thou to find one who was open so with new second hand tyre on the car we headed on to Farmington and cottonwood campground on Navajo dam.
We were the only tenters but there were plenty of others in their RV's. Liam helped some ladies who were fishing in the river and enjoyed playing in the sandy arroyo at the back of our campsite. We had a campfire which we cooked our New Zealand lamb chops on, very tasty.
We had our first frost while tenting in America. I biggest problem was getting the tents dry in the morning. We looked around at the lake at Navajo Dam and saw house boats out on the lake befor edrrivinng back to Santa Fe for dinner at Tomasitas