Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM

I spent most of the day Thursday on a train.  I spent about 3 hours today in a bowling alley.  Well, a former bowling alley….

Welcome to Meow Wolf, a 20,000 square foot immersive, interactive art facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  My Airbnb hosts in Las Cruces, NM told me about this place when I stayed with them Memorial Day weekend earlier this year.  This facility represents the work of over 500 artists.  A segment on National Public Radio called it “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse on steroids” (and those of you who know me know how much I loved Pee-Wee’s Playhouse!).





Once inside you enter the Victorian-style home of the fictional Selig family.




And after that, nothing is quite what it seems.  Over 70 rooms with colored lights (including black-lights), secret passages and tunnels.  Guests are encouraged to open doors and drawers, listen at audio stations, and explore the mysteries of Meow Wolf.  There was a laser-organ, which played different notes as people broke the light beams with their hands and arms.  There were some rooms which were all in black and white.  Some rooms had constantly changed colored lights which made the various painted surfaces change appearance.  Enter the closet in an upstairs bedroom, take a spiral staircase down and crawl out from inside the fireplace in the living room.





I was standing in the kitchen reading a note on the refrigerator when two people walked up, said “excuse me”, opened the refrigerator door and disappeared inside it!



And there WERE people in white lab coats spying on us!  They work here, and were scattered throughout the facility to answer questions and help anyone who might need assistance, although they left people alone unless they were spoken to.

I’ll post pictures in the future of people who were reading the note only to be surprised by other guests emerging from the refrigerator.

Meow Wolf is an amazing concept and I hope it spreads to other parts of the country.  I took lots of pictures and will post more in the coming days.  Not all of them turned out to my liking (inside, in dark rooms) but they should give you some idea what I experienced.  It was really cool, and I’m glad my Airbnb hosts in Las Cruces told me about it.

Oh, and I won’t keep you in suspense waiting for this:



Meow Wolf – Ice Cooler

Go ahead – climb in that ice cooler…


You are now in a small, mirrored room lined with LED lights.  There were two young ladies already in there along with a small (maybe 3 year old) girl.  As the young girl pushed some buttons the lights would change color.







Frito Pie in Santa Fe, New Mexico

I normally don’t like to post food pictures (who cares what I had for lunch) but being in Santa Fe I had to have a Frito Pie, the World Famous (their claim) attraction at the Five & Dime General Store, just off the main plaza in downtown Santa Fe.


Slit open the side of a small bag of Fritos, add some good chili and cheese, charge a tourist 5 bucks and everyone’s happy.


Mine could have used some jalapenos but I knew I wasn’t going to eat the whole thing so I didn’t spring for the extra 50 cents.

But doctor, it said it was only 320 calories….


Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM

About 12 miles north of Abiquiu (which is 53 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico) is Ghost Ranch, which was the home and studio of artist Georgia O’Keefe.  This 21,000 acre ranch is now mostly owned by the Presbyterian Church and is a retreat and conference center, but remains open to the public.  There are also some museums on-site, which is what brought me here.

At the entrance to the ranch is a wooden cabin.  No, it wasn’t Ms. O’Keefe’s residence, in fact, it didn’t even exist back in her day.  It was constructed for the movie City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal.






Ah, the magic of Hollywood.

Here is Ms. O’Keefe with Orville Cox in a photo taken by Ansel Adams.


But what brought me to Ghost Ranch was the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology, which I learned about from a young man I met at the Petrified Forest National Park in northeast Arizona about a week ago.  He was the 15-year old (also named John) who is a budding paleontologist and showed me the cast of the skull of a young Coelophysis (pronounced SEE-low-FY-sis), a dinosaur which lived at that Park, as well as here in New Mexico, over 200 million years ago.  In fact, there is a large quarry of Coelophysis bones here at Ghost Ranch which were declared a National Landmark in 1967 and the dinosaur remains were declared the New Mexico State Fossil in 1991.


Not the biggest dinosaur on the block, the Coelophysis was among the smallest of the meat-eating dinosaurs.