The Albuquerque Art Museum

The Albuquerque Art and History Museum

In January 2018, I got to visit the Albuquerque Art and History Museum which falls on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail. This museum has a wide assortment of talented artists who created realist paintings of New Mexico’s landscapes and peoples.

Leon Trouset dedicated years of his time painting various Mexican landscapes.

One of the very unique finds in this museum was a historical “comic book” style cover on a clay tablet.

This painting of Native Americans has been exhibited at the World’s Fair.

Juan de Oñate, New Mexico, San Juan de Caballeros, San Juan Pueblo

San Juan de Caballeros – The First Capital Of New Mexico

On January 26, 1598 Spanish Governor Juan de Oñate Spanish took 600 settlers to venture east into present day New Mexico. Seven months later, on July 4th 1598 Oñate took sixty horseman to San Juan Pueblo. Nearby, San Juan de Caballeros, the first capital of New Mexico, was established.

The Cuarto Centenario Memorial, which is dedicated to the settlers who established the first cities of New Mexico, is established in Albuquerque, which is about 60 miles away from New Mexico’s present day capital of Santa Fe.

The Continental Divide

The Continental Divide Mural in McKinley County New Mexico

The continental divide is a geological feature of North America that begins at the Cape Prince of Waes, within the Bering Strait of Alaska, and ends in Mexico.

During my trip I visited the continental divide mural in western-central New Mexico, in McKinley off of Interstate 40. The divide falls between the sandstone cliffs that indicate the souther end of the Colorado Plateau in the north and part of the Zuni Mountain range in the south.

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The Experimental U.S. Army Camel Corps

In 1836, U.S. Army Lieutenant George H. Crosman presented the idea of having camels assist with travel. U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis, a decade before he was president of the Confederacy, supported the idea and lobbied Congress to fund the use of camels in the army.

On 3 March 1855, Congress had a majority vote on an appropriation bill that stated within it’s Shield Amendment:  “And be it further enacted, that the sum of $30,000 be, and the same is hereby appropriated under the direction of the War Department in the purchase and importation of camels and dromedaries to be employed for military purposes.”

Eventually, U.S. Army Lieutenant Edward Beal began the camel corps experiment, and utilized several camels to assist with the transportation of army equipment among desert terrain. However, horses and mules were used in addition to camels for transportation, and the camels presence frightened those animals. Therefore, the camel corps was disbanded after the army reports of the camels’ disruptions to other transportation animals.

The National Musuem of the United States Army has more information on the Camel Corps.

Herbert Lore, Painted Desert

Hebert Lore’s Painted Desert Inn That Was Built From Petrified Wood

In the 1920s Arizona businessman Herbert Lore built a restaraunt & inn, called the Painted Desert Inn, out of ancient petrified wood from the Painted Forest Desert.

The Painted Desert Inn operated on the old Route 66, which presently falls on Interstate 40, until it was purchased by the National Park Service in 1936.

The Painted Desert Inn has Fred Kabotie’s murals, that were created summer of 1948, depicting Hopi Indian culture. Fred Kabotie was a Hopi Indian himself that was born on a reservation.

Petrified Forest National Park, President Theodore Roosevelt Junior

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

I’ve been to a Petrified Forest, north of Napa, before; but the Petrified Forest in Arizona is far more massive in size and more ancient. Parts of the 7,500 square foot Painted Desert is hundreds of millions of years up to a billion years old.

The surface of the painted forest existed when the supercontinent Pangea existed, during the age of the dinosaurs. Therefore, several teams of archeologists have come in search of dinosaur remains.

In prehistoric times, the Painted Desert served as a trade route for various Native American peoples.

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt signed an act making the Painted Desert the United States of American’s second national monument. In total, during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, he signed into law the creation of 5 National Parks and 18 National Monuments.

In the 1920s Route 66 was built inside the boundaries of the Painted Desert. Soon after the creation of the highway the Painted Desert Inn and The Lion Farm were created as roadside attractions.

An abandoned vehicle marks a portion of the Route 66 that lay within the Painted Desert.

Author’s Note:

More Information on the creation of National Parks in the United States can be found in this National Geographic article.

Meteor Crater National Park

Meteor Crater National Park

Meteor Crater National Park was created from a meteor that struck the American Continent about fifty thousand years ago.

I was fascinated to find out that it was estimated that the meteor had traveled to earth at a speed of approximately 40,000 miles per hour. I was able to touch a fragment of the meteor, that caused the mile wide crater, inside the visitors center.

Neil Armstrong, and other astronauts have trained at the crater site for their moon missions, because the land structure of the area is akin to those of the craters of the moon.

Outside of the visitors center, there is an Astronaut Hall of Fame dedicated the all of the astronauts who at trained at the crater site.