Friday Oct 18 tour Los Alamos and/or Bandelier
Notes on Bandelier National Monument: Human presence in the area has been dated to over 10,000 years before present. Permanent settlements by ancestors of the Puebloan peoples have been dated to 1150 CE; these settlers had moved closer to the Rio Grande by 1550. The distribution of basalt andobsidian artifacts from the area, along with other traded goods, rock markings, and construction techniques, indicate that its inhabitants were part of a regional trade network that included what is now Mexico. Spanish settlers arrived in the 18th century. The Pueblo Jose Montoya brought Adolph Bandelier to visit the area in 1880; Bandelier, looking over the cliff dwellings, announced "It is the grandest thing I ever saw.” President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating the monument in 1916, and infrastructure, including a lodge, was built during the 1920s and 1930s. The monument was closed to the public for several years during World War II, since the lodge was being used to house personnel working on the Manhattan Project.
The structures at the monument built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps constitute the largest assembly of CCC-built structures in a National Park area that has not been altered by new structures in the district. This group of 31 buildings illustrates the guiding principles of National Park Service Rustic architecture. In October 1976, roughly seventy percent of the monument, 23,267 acres (9,416 ha), became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The park's elevations range from about 5,000 feet (1,500 m) at the Rio Grande to over 10,200 feet (3,100 m) at the summit of Cerro Grande. The Valles Caldera National Preserve adjoins the monument on the north and west, extending into theJemez Mountains.
Much of the area was covered with volcanic ash (the Bandelier tuff) from an eruption of the Valles Caldera volcano 1.14 million years ago. The tuff overlies shales and sandstones deposited during the Permian period and limestone of Pennsylvanian age. The volcanic outflow varied in hardness; the firmer materials would be used by the Ancestral Pueblo People as bricks, while the softer material was carved into homes.