Los Alamos or Bust!

RMOWP’s 2023 Conference is planned for Tuesday to Friday, October 3 to 6, in and around Los Alamos, New Mexico. Our headquarters will be the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Posse Lodge. Constructed in 1958, it was placed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 2012. Conference organizers are feverishly working on potential field trips. Expect to see numerous Puebloan ruins, petroglyphs, pictographs, canyon country vistas and hopefully, cooperative wildlife and birds. Scan through your electronic images as the deadline for submitting entries in our annual photography contest is July 10, 2023. Alternatively, finish writing that great American novel since writing entries are due the same date.

Don Laine and Linda Haehnle are this year’s conference co-chairs, and Viginia Staat will take the lead on organizing workshops. Since covid restrictions have eased since last year’s conference in Golden, Colorado, we were able to definitely book the Sheriff’s Posse Lodge for conference headquarters. Organizers will announce lodging options, including campgrounds, as they become available.

The conference’s organizers have not as yet put together a tentative schedule, but I think we can expect a welcoming reception, presentation of contest submissions, a general membership meeting, multiple workshops and field trips. There is no shortage of outdoor activities in this part of New Mexico, and visitors can immerse themselves in the wonderful culture and cuisine of the area.

A top attraction in the area is the nearby Bandelier National Monument, which is rich in 13th-century Puebloan ruins and rock art. There is a variety of hiking trails in the monument, and organizers are working on a guided tour of the Puye Cliff Dwellings–the ancestral home of the Santa Clara Pueblo residents.

The nearby Valles Caldera National Preserve is the relict of a huge volcanic eruption over a million years ago. The area is mostly undeveloped but contains many old logging roads that are now closed to motor vehicles but open to hikers. The preserve is famous for elk and deer herds, as well as black bears and mountain lions. Another area to spot wildlife is the Los Alamos Nature Center. The surrounding area also has many scenic overlooks, including White Rock Canyon Overlook.

History buffs will enjoy the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the Bradbury Science Museum, which collectively tell the story of the development of the atomic bomb. The Los Alamos History Museum highlights the human history of the area.