This week, our work took us further afield: on Thursday, Hannah, Annie, Sev, and I went out on survey in the Rio Grande Gorge near Pilar; we were mapping a trail that Hannah is researching for her thesis, as well as gathering preliminary photos and sketches of rock art on the boulders near the rim: recording traces of Pueblo, Ute, Apache, Spanish, and Anglo movements through this landscape, in the forms of pecked faces and quadrupeds, scratched riders and horses and shields, names and dates and Catholic crosses.
On Friday, we all went to help Albert’s team with their excavations at Turley’s mill, a 19th century whiskey distillery that was also a battle site during the Taos Revolt. We moved a massive amount of dirt in one day of very hard work, and celebrated with several pitchers of margaritas upon our return to New Buffalo.
The scenery here at New Buffalo is changing too, most notably in the pit, where we’ve now hit the floor an exposed several of the walls. By the end of our half-day’s work on Saturday, the structure of the pit house had finally emerged from the sunken round of dirt, stone, and sagebrush that we’d started digging a week or so earlier.
Later that afternoon, returning from our visit to the Earthships, we stopped at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in the middle of a wind storm that left our hair silty with dust and played havoc with our tents and the tarps over the pit. We walked across the bridge in wind so strong it left us staggering, throwing out our arms and pressing our bodies up against the wall of air, before peering over the edge to the river six hundred feet below.