Welcome to the Rio Grande Pueblo Winter Solstice Feasts and Dances week at Ghost Ranch. I’m your leader, guide, and teacher and I’ve been an archaeologist in the Southwest for over 25 years.
I hope for 50-degree sunny weather during our week as we have often had in the past — But it’s wiser to plan for cold weather, possibly down to 35 degrees during the day. Here is what I advise that you bring with you:
Heavy jacket for cold weather, hat, warm gloves, warm scarf
Warm socks, several changes of socks, long underwear, turtleneck, gloves
Warm sweater — and layers (for those times it is 55 degrees and sunny)
Boots that you can stand in for a couple of hours, stay warm in, and that are good in snow (just in case) and comfortable walking shoes
Daypack for carrying your sack lunch, water bottles, camera, sunscreen
Two water bottles, 1 quart each, reusable.
Flashlight (important at night at the Ranch)
Other necessities you would normally travel with
You may want to bring binoculars with you and camera – they will be useful – but they can’t be used at the dances or carried into the pueblos
If any of you have special food needs, if you are vegetarians, vegan or gluten-free, we will need to know. As soon as you can, please get back to me with the information. There will be food alternatives for those with special food needs. Also, when do you expect to arrive at the Ranch on Saturday Dec 23rd and by what kind of transportation? This will be helpful in my knowing if you need transportation to the Ranch.
Check-in time at the Ranch on Monday, December 23 is 3:00 pm. Dinner is from 5:30-6:30 pm. After dinner on we meet for Orientation at about 6:45 pm. Please check at the Welcome Center for the location of our meeting.
Some of you may want to know my recommended readings. I have attached a bibliography. Most of these will be available in the Ghost Ranch Library — so please don’t go out of your way to get them. I’ll be giving background presentations on the History/Culture of the Southwest and on the Pueblo Dances the morning of December 24. We are planning a Holiday dinner at the Ranch for late in the day on the 25th.
I have attached a draft itinerary, which may change as the week draws closer. Some pueblos have not yet decided on the specific dance for each day.
Please confirm that you have received this email – I’ll then call those who haven’t. Feel free to email or call me anytime with any questions you may have – firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-582-4233.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
Monday DECEMBER 23
Arrival and Evening Orientation
3:00 pm (or later): Check in at the Welcome Center
5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Dinner
6:45 pm: Orientation in Agape Gathering Room
Tuesday DECEMBER 24
Christmas Eve at Ohkay pueblo
Breakfast: 7:30 am-8:30 am
9:00 am: Background presentations: Cultural History/Pueblo Dances
Noon – 1:00 pm: Lunch at the Ranch
1:00 pm- 3:00 pm: Free Time
3:15 pm: Depart for Ohkay-Owinge Pueblo
Take sack dinners/snacks. Meet behind dining hall
Evening: Return to Ghost Ranch
Wednesday DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day
Deer Dance or Buffalo Dance
11:00 am: Depart from behind the dining hall. Bring sack lunches
5:30 pm: Christmas dinner at the ranch
Thursday DECEMBER 26
Turtle Dance, Ohkay-Owinge Pueblo
9:30 am: Depart from behind dining hall. Bring sack lunches
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner at the ranch
Friday DECEMBER 27
Corn Dance at Santo Domingo and/or San Felipe Pueblo
8:00 am: Depart from behind dining hall. Bring sack lunches.
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner at the Ranch
Evening: Final discussion and farewell.
Saturday DECEMBER 28
Departures from the Ranch.
Check-out by 10:00 am
Please note that the Pueblos can change their dance schedule and weather considerations may affect our travel destination, but this rarely happens and there are good alternatives.