Mesa Verde to Verona

The drive from Mesa Verde to Navaho Lakes, NM (our first overnight stop in New Mexico) wasn’t long but was pretty interesting. We drove through oil and gas country with well heads dotting the countryside. White trucks with lights on top and tall springy poles that had fluorescent flags flying identified them as workers on those wellheads.

After driving way back on country roads, the road led right up over the dam. Picture this! Anglers dotted the stream emitting from the dam – literally every 20-50 feet way down stream. We realized that this was angler heaven and a super spot for trout. Not that the realization made us feel good, mind. We still had no waders or boots to get into the stream with! Grrrrrr. Oh well, the lake was gorgeous, we walked all over the rather complicated campground and enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon.

After that, we headed south to Los Sueños RV Park in Santa Fe for a few days of laundry, groceries, catching up on internet and, and…. MEOW WOLF!!! Yes! We bought online tickets and headed in to an experience. LINK TO YOUTUBE ON MEOW. PUT UP PHOTOS. Meow Wolf interior presents the curious and puzzle lovers with a mystery!

The House of Eternal Return

Inside the house – a normal sized Victorian Home with all of the amenities – we discovered journals and newspapers that told about the disappearance of one of the house’s inhabitants, the young son. On the ground floor is a parlor, living room, dining room and kitchen. Soon after reading the journals we noticed people talking in a mirror on the dining room wall. Watching them for a while led us to the parlor where we looked through papers, drawers, books, artworks (took them off the walls, even) then to the kitchen. AS I walked around the house. I noticed some weird things: the fireplace seemed to glow greenly and the back of it was not solid; the moulding in the hall going from parlor to kitchen was dirty and when I grabbed it a door opened! In the kitchen the stove had pans and a teapot on top but nothing was inside them. The whole house is set up like a family of four lives there. Clothes, antimacassars, furniture, drapes…

We cautiously edged upstairs, studying the framed photos on the wall, to search the study and read some papers in the desk that alluded to a small safe on a table and it’s combination entry code. We looked at, riffled and read everything we could in that room – including notes on the small cork board. One more was from the daughter of the house exclaiming about seeing her brother disappear and wanting help getting him back. Then we headed to the bedrooms.

More Meow…

The first bedroom belonged to the son. With a desk, bunkbed, bookcase, dresser and posters on the wall this looked like a young teenager’s room. There were dinosaurs, books about flowers and references to his grandmother who had taught him about flowers and botany. The boy seemed very interested in science from the model, books, drawings and geegaws set about the room. The closet in the room had a weird glow and while we were there a man and woman walked right out of the closet! We decided to keep exploring the house, although it was obvious the house contained some kind of doorways or portals to other places.

The bathroom had a big footed tub, sink and toilet – a cabinet above the sink opened and way back in a hole dimly lit through translucent walls was a bottle of pills! The black and white tiled floor (you remember those little octagonal tiles?) was really strange – it was wavy, like 5” waves around the toilet! In the bottom of the toilet the ‘water’ was dark and when we looked closely we could see a boy who seemed to be swimming in the air or water or something.

In the bedroom on the right of the hall was a double bed, parents room, no doubt. The dresser had their clothes and the desk a computer with many channels of the dad talking about some electronic/metaphysical/spiritual stuff to do with his business. Altogether weird! Again, the closet opened and some kids came sauntering through the coats and clothing hanging inside.

Further down the hall we found the daughter’s room – neon pink with barbies and big blankets on the walls. By then we were in full search mode trying to figure out the mystery of what happened to the son and then the family.

We knew that the grandfather had invented a machine something like a time machine. That the father had ordered the kids to stay away from it and that the son had used it and disappeared. More clues seemed to be in the safe, so we went back to the office to try to crack it.

Now, all along we had been seeing a man in a while lab coat, we had read that there were scientists who would be recording our every move and to stay away from them. Turns out, this guy was a good resource for information! We learned from him that we had been inputting the safe code incorrectly! It got pretty funny. Here we are Occupying the office. The safe had a 5-10 minute timer that made it so the code couldn’t be tapped in over and over. I see the timer on my phone and when a guy came running into the room, arms outstretched to touch the keypad, Barb blocked him and said “No! It’s on a timer and we’re waiting before we can try the code again. He said what he thought the code was and we let him know that he had it wrong and he went back to the living room to read more from the papers there. When trying the code a couple of times (after the requisite wait) we decided to explore a portal to see what clues could be had…

This is the fantastical! Portals! The portal we chose was in the laundry room – through the washing machine door, down a tube and into the washer which was washing clothes and photographs of the family! Another tube led to… what? A very strange universe! Lit by neon and fluorescent colors, more doors sprouting in every direction, cave like spaces we ducked or crawled into, dinosaur bones we played like xylophone keys, mushrooms that sand when we popped on their tops, stairways to other realms and catwalks overlooking stranger places to explore than the last one.

A super modern room advertising vacations on other planets, rooms with weird textures and colors, a bumpy, soft floored room kids kept falling into, sculptures made of trash turned silver, vines, vines, vines, creepy rooms, a little vintage trailer to sit in and visit with other searchers, doorways leading back into the house and confusing passageways leading to even odder realms.

So, since Meow Wolf is the product of over 100 artists and is an organic and ever changing immersive art experience, don’t go there expecting to see what I’ve described. Just go there! It is a magical, mystical, crazy fun, organic, growing art experience. The artists sought to turn the traditional art viewing experience on it’s head and they sure did! The art community is inclusive and cooperative, something that wouldn’t seem to work – how did 100+ individuals come to agree on anything much less Meow Wolf? Go see.

For some reason, the RV wouldn’t start when we were ready to leave. We puzzled around and contemplated calling someone to look at the engine – naturally, it was the weekend. Barb is not trained to be a chassis/engine mechanic. RV systems yes, engine no; but… Some of the stuff she learned got her poking around in the fuse box (after extensive internet searching for where the thing is located and looking on our trusty Trek group site Trek Trax to see what others had encountered with the same symptoms).

After struggling to take off the lid, Barb got busy testing fuses and relays. Some genius stroke led her to pull the relays and take a look at them. One was completely burnt looking on one leg and up the side. A quick trip to the parts store for a new (fuel pump) relay and we were on our way! We didn’t leave at Check-out time and Los Sueños staff was most generous in letting us stay until the problem was solved.

A quick drive took us to our son, Gabe and his wife Erin’s ranch to hang out with our newest grandchild – the first girl! Verona, still a tiny baby, slept and ate most of the time we were there. It was good to be with Gabe and Erin and to learn about their plans for Nizhoni Stables and Pas de Cheval, thorough bred horse rescue. The ranch is beautiful – even the chicken coop for which Barb built and installed nest boxes.

Erin’s dad, Mark, took us into one of the pastures to teach us artifact hunting and boy did we have fun! Barb got addicted and was out there in various fields and paddocks looking for more the next few days, of course. She did find a lovely 2500 year old pottery sherd. I found lots of purple glass pieces from some unremembered homesteader’s place and a more plain pottery sherd. Mark found a drilled Cerillos turquoise bead, very old – quite a find – and a metate, another amazing find.

The weather started turning colder (this is close to the 7000’ altitude of Santa Fe) we decided to head for home via some more interesting places.