Off the Beaten Path: Member Field Trips

Mary Cabot WheelwrightMary Cabot WheelwrightPhotograph courtesy of the Wheelwright Museum.
Mary Cabot Wheelwright
Gran Quivira, Salinas Pueblo MissionsGran Quivira, Salinas Pueblo MissionsOriginally part of a stereo photograph, courtesy Jason S. Ordaz.
Gran Quivira, Salinas Pueblo Missions
Snake Petroglyph in White Rock CanyonSnake Petroglyph in White Rock CanyonPhotograph courtesy Janie Miller.
Snake Petroglyph in White Rock Canyon
View of the Ortiz Mountains from Petroglyph HillView of the Ortiz Mountains from Petroglyph HillOriginally part of a stereoview, photograph courtesy Jason S. Ordaz.
View of the Ortiz Mountains from Petroglyph Hill

“There is nothing finer than to head out on an SAR field trip, visiting ancestral sites or vibrant contemporary craftspeople in their studios. Think of hiking along in breathtaking New Mexico with absorbing, passionate scholars telling stories on the way to and at each site. Most often we are treated to delicious picnic lunches made at the SAR kitchen, and we are ferried from one destination to the next in comfortable, big-window vans, also treated to insightful observations by the excellent drivers. I work the rest of my calendar around SAR field trip dates. They’re the best!”
—SAR member Kimberly MacLoud

More than a few people have confessed that they first became SAR members to be eligible for the popular field trips, which are “members only”—exclusive trips ranging from half-day journeys to adventures lasting several days. We don’t mind this impulse at all. In fact our field trip program is designed to offer full-immersion experiences that bring to life the beauty and history of New Mexico and the Southwest, the unique artists and explorers—past and present—who make the region so distinctive, and the extraordinary scholarship supported by SAR, today and over the last century.

This year the field trip program offered SAR members a dozen opportunities to explore the multidimensional realms of our region, from the history and folklore of the austere Rio Puerco Valley to the Navajo weavers at the Toadlena Trading Post and Chacoan outliers of northwestern New Mexico, and from the Awanyu guardians of White Rock Canyon to Mary Cabot Wheelwright’s nineteenth-century hacienda, Los Luceros.

“Loved everything, and your planning was just superb—as usual,” said one member. “These trips are really pulling a good group of folks that are learning, learning, learning. I’m off to the library first thing this morning to dig up some of the books and authors mentioned the last few days.” Staff member Janie Miller does a remarkable job of planning and organizing the trips and managing all the details that blend insightful experiences with the sensual delights of great food and good fun that make these trips memorable.

Nearly all the trips weave intricate layers of history, art, archaeology, and anthropology to “connect the dots” of our extraordinary region. For example, in March 2010 senior scholar Linda Cordell and Jicarilla Apache potter Felipe Ortega took members on the trip “Journey through Time,” traveling across north-central New Mexico from El Rito to La Madera and on to Tres Piedras. They visited an ancestral Tewa pueblo, a micaceous pottery studio, and the home of Aldo Leopold, one of America’s most important conservationists.

“For us, visiting the Leopold home was a wonderful pilgrimage, and meeting and hearing the story of the restoration from Benjamin Romero was quite a highlight,” said a member who made the trip. “Beginning the day with the shrine and pueblo sites, with those fantastic views of northern New Mexico, gave us all a real feel for the land and culture. Wouldn’t Leopold have been happy about that!”

A word to the wise: Most SAR field trips sell out immediately. Check the website or call the SAR Membership Office at (505) 954-7203 for the current schedule and the next date on which trip reservations will be accepted.

July 2009
Window Portal in the IARC Building Field Trip
Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 10:00–11:00 am Santo Domingo Pottery Firing: Preview of Santo Domingo Pottery at the Indian Arts Research Center Santo Domingo potter Robert Tenorio As a preview to the July 11th trip, Robert Tenorio will meet on Tuesday with participants in the Indian Arts Research Center at SAR to share his knowledge of Santo Domingo pottery.
Robert Tenorio Pottery Field Trip
Saturday, July 11, 2009, 8:00 am–2:00 pm Santo Domingo Pottery Firing: Santo Domingo Pueblo Santo Domingo potter Robert Tenorio Join in the fun by participating in a traditional pottery-making demonstration. Santo Domingo potter Robert Tenorio enjoys teaching his knowledge of Puebloan pottery by involving people in the process of creation.
Archaic and Historic Rock Art in the Rio Grande Gorge Field Trip
Saturday, July 25, 2009, 7:00 am–2:30 pm Archaic and Historic Rock Art in the Rio Grande Gorge Guided by Severin Fowles Archaeologist and Barnard College professor Severin Fowles is in his third summer of investigating the Archaic and historic sites of the Rio Grande Gorge, a formidable place often overlooked by other Southwest archaeologists, but one that was prehistorically used by the Jicarilla Apache, Utes, Comanche, and Picuris and Taos Pueblos.
August 2009
Native Foods Field Trip
Saturday, August 8, 2009, 8:00 am–3:00 pm Native Foods: Culinary Field Trip and Farm Tour Chef Lois Ellen Frank; Clayton Brascoupe, Director of the Traditional Native American Farmers Association; and Eremita and Margaret Campos’s family farm Award-winning chef Lois Ellen Frank will be our guide as we learn about the region’s history and the revitalization of traditional Native seeds, foods, and farming methods.
September 2009
Water Vase by Ulysses Reid Field Trip
Friday, September 4, 2009, 8:30 am–3:30 pm The Art of Zia Pueblo Guided by Ulysses Reid Join us on a special field trip to honor Zia potter Ulysses Reid, this summer’s “Artist in Residence” at the Indian Arts Research Center.
Mary Cabot Wheelwright Field Trip
Friday, September 11, 2009, 8:30 am–3:00 pm The Historic Los Luceros Hacienda Guided by Lea Armstrong and Marie Markenstein The historic 140-acre property is nestled along the Rio Grande and was home to Mary Cabot Wheelwright, founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
October 2009
Snake Petroglyph in White Rock Canyon Field Trip
Saturday, October 3, 2009, 7:30 am–4:30 pm Awanyu Guardians of White Rock Canyon Guided by Robert “Bob” Powers and Rory Gauthier White Rock Canyon is one of the jewels of the Pajarito Plateau, with magnificent views, beautiful rock art, and farming sites hidden in the canyon bottom.
Dinétah Fortress Field Trip
Thursday, October 15–Saturday, October 17, 2009 Ancestral Navajo: Rock Art & Pueblitos de Dinétah Guided by Larry Baker and Alex Mitchell Scattered in the ancestral Navajo homeland are small defensive sites, “Pueblitos,” that the Navajos constructed in the 18th century to protect themselves from slaving raids....
March 2010
Detail of Aldo Leopold’s Early Home Field Trip
Friday, March 19, 2010, 7:30 am–5:00 pm Journey through Time Guided by Linda Cordell and Felipe Ortega The journey through time will take us across north-central New Mexico from El Rito to La Madera and on to Tres Piedras....
April 2010
Gran Quivira, Salinas Pueblo Missions Field Trip
Friday, April 30–Saturday, May 1, 2010 The Salinas Pueblos: One Thousand Years of Village Life in Central New Mexico Guided by Alison Rautman with an overnight in Mountainair East of the rugged Manzano Mountains are the remains of three large pueblos and their 17th-century Spanish Colonial missions. Explore these with archaeologist Alison Rautman....
May 2010
Detail of Toadlena Trading Post Field Trip
Thursday, May 20–Saturday, May 22, 2010 Chacoan Outliers and Navajo Weavers of Northwestern New Mexico Guided by Tom Windes and John Kantner with an overnight in Gallup Archaeologists Tom Windes and John Kantner will take us on a journey through the backroads of northwestern New Mexico, visiting several outlying great houses....
June 2010
Detail of San Luis Church Field Trip
Friday, June 25, 2010, 7:30 am–5:00 pm History and Folklore of the Rio Puerco Valley Guided by Nasario Garcia and Tom Windes The austere Rio Puerco Valley has attracted a continuum of inhabitants, from Ancestral Puebloans to Navajos to Hispanic farmers....
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