Red Sox rumble

 Hey guys!!! I know I technically finished off my year of blogging but a special event took place recently. I went to my first Boston Red Sox game with our friend, Brian, who is an executive for MLB.com which is the digital division of Major League Baseball. We met Brian on our trip to Antarctica and you may remember him from our penguin selfie competition. Brian promised to come to Boston to meet up and go to a Sox game at some point, so that’s what we did. In fact, he was able to get us awesome seats right behind home plate. Though, I was not able to catch any foul balls:(   
    
 The Red Sox faced the Mariners, and crushed them on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Boston (a whopping 22-10 win by the Sox), thanks to Ortiz:

   
 We had a great time and were really grateful that Brian invited us to go – Thanks Brian!

  

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Churches and canyons

What’s up guys?! Since we’re leaving Taos soon, we’ve been trying to notice all of its good attributes. One of them is the fascinating old buildings, churches, and other structures. Another is all the great hikes around here.

Last week, Dad and I joined our friends on a hike at Plaza Blanca near Abiquiu:

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We have been having quite a few thundershowers in the afternoons, but the upside is the rainbows:

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Here are some pictures of the many small churches, school houses, and old adobe buildings that you will find around Taos:

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San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos is very famous. Maybe you have seen the Georgia O’Keefe painting of it:

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Plaza Blanca wasn’t the only hike I did. Mom, Dad and I also hiked the Canoncito waterfall here in Arroyo Seco. We had a blast and got to see amazing views.

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This will probably be my last blog post from New Mexico since we are heading back to Massachusetts in a couple of days. Thanks for reading!

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Pics and books

Helloooooo! I just wanted to notify you guys that I have uploaded a bunch of photos to my ‘Destinations’ section. To view them, go to the Destinations button on the menu above or click on the photo thumbnails below. (You’ll have to guess the continent from the picture!)

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I have also updated my Books section with a few more book reports. You can read them by going to the Books button above or click here: Book Reports.

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Rafting on the Rio Grande

Hey guys! I recently went white water rafting in the Rio Grande Gorge! Our friends Brenda and Terry were hosting their grandson this week, so Brenda, Jordan, mom and I went rafting one morning. Here is a picture of Jordan and me with our guide Bradley:

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I took the GoPro with me and made a little compilation. I enjoyed seeing Baby Huey, a gigantic boulder that rolled down the mountain, gashed the highway, leaped to the other side of the Gorge, and now sits in the river. Here’s the link to my video:

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Camping in Colorado

Hey everybody!

I’ve been really busy playing soccer, making friends, hanging out with my grandparents, and enjoying the spring in New Mexico, but I haven’t been blogging very much as you probably noticed. I’ll be posting a bit more in the coming weeks, so don’t go away! 

In the meantime, here is a video I made of my camping trip with my friend Dylan last week. I used my GoPro to get some cool footage, and I made a short movie. If you’d like to see it click here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rWYX2VRHiJo

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Skimming and soccer

What’s up everybody? Yesterday I went to a pond skimming event at the Taos Ski Valley. Pond skimming is a sport where people blow down a snow covered hill (either on skis or a snowboard) to a pond of ice cold water hoping to skim over it and make it to the other side. At TSV, the pond is 80 feet long but at other resorts the pond can be as long as 120 feet.  

Most resorts have these events to celebrate the final days of the ski season.

Anyhow, pond skimming is a tradition that loads of ski resorts host, but I did not find much history when researching where it came from or how it evolved. There were four judges at the event, all in pretty funny costumes, and they rated the participants based on style, costume, and how far they make it across the pond. I think that they were also open to some subtle bribery in the form of “lettuce (money that is!) and beer.”

  
There were many silly costumes such as, The Baconator (even though almost all of his bacon, which was real, had fallen off of him by the time we got this picture):
  
Good Cop/Bad Cop from the Lego Movie:
    
David Letterman:
  
And what would it be without the Hippie Hawaiian Guy with the blue hair:
  
There were just too many competitors to get pictures of all of them, but we did get quite a few:

                

Unfortunately TSV closes next weekend but I am looking forward to still heading up for mountain bike riding and hiking. Since yesterday was one of the last days of skiing, mom and I got a few runs in:

  

Also, I’ve been playing lots of soccer for the Taos Bears. I’m enrolling in a tournament in Albuquerque, NM in May.

    
Skiing (and maybe pond skimming when I am older) and soccer are two of many sports I like, and when you combine them, it’s awesome.

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Amazing Abiquiu

What’s up guys? Yesterday I visited Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu! Abiquiu is about 50 miles as the crow flies and is visible from Taos on clear days (which most of them are!) so we always look out to it and wonder what it’s like. Just north of Abiquiu is Ghost Ranch, a small place with a big history.  

 

It all starts with the Archuleta brothers. The Archuleta brothers were cattle rustlers, meaning that they went around to people’s properties and stole their cattle at night. The brothers made two little houses on what is now Ghost Ranch, secluded from the rest of the community, and hid the cattle in Box Canyon.

One of the brothers made a deal and got a bunch gold. He hid it for safety purposes and to keep his brother from finding out  about his stash.

But the other brother eventually found out about the gold and demanded the location of it. The brother who hid the gold refused to reveal its location. The other brother felt he had a no choice but to kill his sibling, so he did. He also held his brother’s wife and daughter hostage until they told him the location of the gold. They finally told him it where it was hidden, but that night they snuck away through the Chama Valley. The next day, a group of local man came and hung the remaining Archuleta brother by a cottonwood tree just outside his casita.

  

After the whole Archuleta a debacle, the 21,000 acre ranch was transferred and the deed to the ranch was won in a poker game by Roy Pfaffle. He didn’t keep it long, because his wife, Carol Stanley, signed the deed in her name and divorced Roy Pfaffle the very next day.

Carol Stanley made the ranch into a camping/getaway place and many of her friends came to live there in the 1930s. One of them was Arthur Pack, who was a writer and editor of Nature Magazine. He and his family loved the area and enjoyed spending time there. Even though Stanley was having many rich and wealthy people staying at Ghost Ranch, she was slowly losing money and couldn’t keep the ranch in good shape. She was struggling so much that she decided to sell it to Arthur Pack and his family.

Georgia O’Keeffe (an artist from Sun Prarie, Wisconsin), who heard about Arthur Pack’s statement that Ghost Ranch area was “the best place on earth,” decided to go to Ghost Ranch and experience it herself. She had been going to Santa Fe for a few years and then met Mabel Dodge Luhan who told her she had to come up to Taos. Mabel gave Georgia a place to stay and a studio in Taos where she could do her art. Georgia fell in love with the scenery and geography around there and began spending more and more time in Ghost Ranch while going back to her home in New York occassionally. At Ghost Ranch, she eventually built a home for herself in the 1930s and ultimately spent all of her time there. There are a lot of paintings of hers that include landmarks from Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu.

Arthur Pack knew lots of wealthy people back in New York and over time hosted some of the countries wealthiest people at the ranch. Though, as time went by he became unable to maintain the ranch and he considered selling the ranch to a larger association. He spoke to the YMCA, The Boy Scouts of America, The United Brethren Church, and many other groups, but none of them were in the position to buy the ranch because the costs to maintain it were simply too large.

Finally, Arthur pack offered the ranch to the Presbyterian Church. They accepted it and turned it into an educational facility. Now it is an educational and retreat center. It is open to the public so anyone can go visit. It really is beautiful and when I was doing the research for this blog, I learned that more than 20 movies have been filmed there. Do any of you remember a movie called City Slickers? I think I am going to have to rent it one day.

  

There are a lot of things to do at Ghost Ranch, including a hike. Mom and I decided to go and see the view from a higher point, so we took the hike trail up a hill. Here are some pictures:

   

   

Here is a picture of dad and me in front of the welcome center in Ghost Ranch:

 

  Here’s some ‘cartography’:

   

 

  

There’s no doubt about it, Ghost Ranch is awesome!!!

  

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Excellent earthships

Hey guys!!! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I decided to tell you what I’ve been up to lately. Mostly I’ve been skiing, but dad has a minor injury, so I’ve been skiing alone a lot recently.

Also, I’ve been playing soccer at the recreational gym here in Taos a bit.

But today I did neither of those activities … I went to some earthships with my mom!

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Earthships are houses made of mud, cans, bottles, and tires. They are super environment friendly, using solar panels as a source of electricity and reusing water four times.
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The architect who designs earthships is named Mike Reynolds, who travels the world exposing this kind of architecture to other people. He also hires interns to “pound tires with earth”. The result of filling the tires with mud: the walls of an earthship.

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The first earthship he built is called the “Thumb House” which was constructed in the early 1970s. Another cool fact about Reynolds is that he has a patent  called ‘Building Blocks of Empty Cans’, which was filed in 1971.

One of the places he goes to to make earthships is Ushuaia, Argentina! In fact, when we were in Ushuaia, we saw an earthship.

A funny part about our trip to the earthships today is that a power outage occurred at our house while we were gone because of a broken telephone pole. If we lived in an earthship, we wouldn’t have experienced it, because we would have been using solar power!

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Bananas and bumps

Hey everybody!!! A couple of days ago I visited TISA (Taos Integrated School of the Arts), a school here in Taos, and talked to a class about my experiences in Argentina and Antarctica. I also, with the help of my grandmother, who is the director of TISA, my grandfather, and my mom, made fried bananas that I learned how to make in the Thai cooking school that I visited in Thailand.

Fried Bananas

Everybody loved the bananas, but I think there was a bit too much lime juice in it.

The class that I talked to was in sixth grade and they asked some questions that I couldn’t answer, like “What was your least favorite experience in Antarctica,” (which I couldn’t answer because I enjoyed Antarctica so much) and “What was the temperature there,” (which I couldn’t answer because one day we were in T-shirts and the next day was below freezing and snowy).

Also, on Wednesday, we got some good snow up on the ski mountain! Here is a picture of me at the top of the new Kachina Peak lift:

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Ever wonder what it would be like to be a ski? Here is another ski video: (By the way, that isn’t me crashing. We had an adhesive malfunction. Let’s just say the GoPro didn’t ‘stick’ the landing.)

http://youtu.be/4b_UAX9LgsM

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Terrific Taos

Hello everybody! I know I haven’t posted in while, but I’ve been skiing, playing soccer, biking, and much more lately. I just received a new GoPro Hero (a small camera that you can mount your head, your bike, surfboard, etc.)in the mail about a week ago in exchange for some chores. So, I have recorded myself skiing and biking. Here are some links to the skiing videos on YouTube and some pictures (these are only three of many videos):

From my view:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AtGJF27u448

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UU0PyaIBQpQ

From Dad’s view (videoing me mostly):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zFZ-ebTGp6E

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Here are a few pictures of me and my bike. Just today I went out to the Taos mesa and tried to ride my bike. Unfortunately, my bike and I sank in thawed mud (notice how my wheels are caked in dirt):

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Just a few days ago, Dad and I went down to to the Rio Grande Gorge and skipped rocks. I remember when I lost a foam football down the river. I still imagine it floating down the river, ending up in Mexico, and some kids having fun with it and playing with it. I hope that is what happened! Here’s a picture of me in the gorge:

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Also, I’ve been playing quite a bit of soccer at Eco Park. Even though it’s February, and some of you guys back in Massachusetts are getting pounded with snow, we are lacking much precipitation here in Taos. Plus, we need some snow for skiing. It hasn’t snowed since last week!:

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Lately, in terms of keeping up with my educational curriculum, I’ve been doing a lot of online math and language arts using a system called IXL:

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After a long day of fun activities here in Taos, I usually jump in the hot tub and enjoy Taos’ well-known, gorgeous sunsets. Here are some examples of what we get almost every night:

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