March 20, 2012

An Archeological Treasure

It was a beautiful day when we left Las Cruces, New Mexico, this morning.  The wind was still blowing, and it was unseasonably cold, but it was an ok day to drive toward Tucson. Interstate driving is not as much fun, or as interesting, as driving on back roads, but we didn’t have much choice, and we made the best of it.

The desert landscape of southern New Mexico and Arizona is wide-open, but mountain ranges can be seen in all directions.  I had forgotten how mountainous this part of the Southwest is.  Many of the peaks and ranges were covered with snow from the recent storm.

Texas Canyon in the Little Dragoon Mountains won the prize for the most spectacular scenery of the day.  Located just one hour east of Tucson, Texas Canyon features distinct rock formations that seem to be tossed here and there.  Pedestal rocks, spires and balanced boulders characterize this distinctive landscape.

Texas Canyon
Wonderful Rock Formations
Granite Boulders Litter the Landscape
Located amidst this wondrous scenery is the Amerind Foundation, a privately-owned archeological and anthropological museum, art gallery, research facility and library.  Amerind was founded by William Shirley Fulton in 1937 and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Native American cultures and their histories.  Exhibits include prehistoric objects from archeological excavations in the Americas, as well as more recent Native American art and artifacts.  

Amerind Foundation
My favorite exhibits were the Southwestern rugs and textiles, and the Pueblo pottery that ranged from late prehistoric ancestral ceramics to modern pieces.  The rich colors and intricate details were spectacular.  A small gallery devoted to Western art also contained several lovely landscapes and bronzes. 

Although Tim was very familiar with the Amerind Foundation, I was happy to learn about it for the first time today.  It was an unexpected treasure, and much more than a welcome break from the long drive.

A Wonderful Setting
The Landscape Here Is So Different
Kitty Wants to Come Out and Play in the Rocks

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