National Buffalo Museum and Frontier Village (Jamestown)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

Visiting The National Buffalo Museum and Frontier Village was a memorable and moving experience. Before entering the museum there is a small frontier village with a few shops that sell arts and crafts made by the local tribes of the Sioux and the Lakota. I got a really great pair of handmade buckskin moccasins that I love so much I am afraid to wear them for fear of ruining them.  Isaac got a little drum that … [Read more...]

Crazy Horse Memorial (Crazy Horse)

Destination: North and South Dakota

The Crazy Horse Memorial was an absolutely complete disappointment. This is the mother of all tourist traps. My suggestion is to keep your fanny pack zipped, and pass on this waste of time.  It’s a “work in progress” that hasn’t progressed in the last 20 years. When we approached in the car and were told the price and saw the memorial carving, I turned my car around and left. There are far more interesting … [Read more...]

New Mexico

New Mexico

New Mexico is known as The Land of Enchantment and after visiting here we can see why. The desert colors in the natural landscape are beautiful, but it goes much deeper than that. There is a spirituality here, an unexplained peacefulness and harmony that is difficult to explain but yet you feel it all around you. It is the beauty in small things and the simple things that somehow gets magnified in the New Mexican … [Read more...]

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (Albuquerque)

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center  was our first stop after an early morning flight and a great place to start our introduction to the region and connect with our theme, Cowboys and Native American Indians.   The Center was founded to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture, and to advance understanding by presenting their accomplishments and evolving history with dignity and respect. It was boiling hot so it was … [Read more...]

Old Town Albuquerque (Albuquerque)

Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque is just a great place to walk around and explore. There are tons of nifty shops with all kinds of handicrafts made by local artisans.  One item we became obsessed with on our trip were "fetishes".  These are little animals carved out of stone or natural substances like horn or bone.  They are carved by Native American artisans of the various local tribes like the Zuni or the Navajo. … [Read more...]

Taos Drum Factory (Taos)

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

A little off the beaten path is the Taos Drum Factory, was both a fun and interesting stop. After learning about the Taos Indians at the pueblo, we understood a little about the role the drum plays in their culture. At the factory we learned how the drums are made and saw a huge variety of them, some tiny and some massively huge all with interesting an unusual shapes. Walking into the warehouse we immediately smelled … [Read more...]

Taos Pueblo (Taos)

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

Exploring the Taos Pueblo is to step back in time and to understand the lifestyle of  the  Taos Indians who occupy the structure today.  The pueblo stands as the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States and is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been … [Read more...]

Four Corners National Monument

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

How cool is it to simultaneously be in four states at once! You can do just that at the Four Corners National Monument which is administered by the Navajo Nation. Beware, it was about $3 per person to enter and the concessioners have a tendency to up their prices just because.  After posing for photos on the monument marker we decided to peruse the stands.  I wanted everyone to taste Indian Fry Bread to add to our … [Read more...]

Mesa Verde National Park

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park, (Mesa Verde being Spanish for green table), offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people, the Anasazi, who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. Be prepared to hike … [Read more...]

Ute Indian Museum (Montrose)

Destination #4: New Mexico and Colorado

I am so glad we took the time to visit the Ute Indian Museum because I had never heard of the Ute Indians before. We learned all about their history, their arts and folklore, and their daily life. As we took our time wandering around, we were mesmerized by the beautiful examples of the fine bead work on a variety of items that Utes used in their daily life.  We saw and amazing feather headdress worn by the chief … [Read more...]