Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Restrospective On New Mexico’s Acoma Pueblo & New England’s Halloween

Bert Gildart: From the visitor center on the Acoma (Ack-uh-muh) Indian reservation in New Mexico, you can gaze upward and onto a white sandstone plateau—and, then, to an ancient pueblo that dates back to AD 1075. Though I’ve been familiar with the small—and perhaps even quixotic—village for years, neither Janie nor I have ever visited “Sky City” until this past February.

At the time, we were gathering material for an article on this ancient pueblo, and that story has just appeared in the November issue of Motorhome Magazine. November is an ideal time to publish such a story, as this area is a great winter destination.

While in the Acoma area we based ourselves at the local KOA, and then made day trips to the ancient pueblo. No longer a fortification against the Spanish or invading Indian tribes, the pueblo has evolved and has developed a reputation for quality pottery, such as that produced by Susan Sarracino. She’s a resident of this ancient pueblo and despite the pueblo’s confining nature (you can’t go there without a guide) she is internationally known as one who produces exquisite pottery employing a traditional pattern.

You can read about her work in the magazine just touted, and to pique your interest, I’m posting a few of the images that accompanied the story. The story includes many others.

We work hard while on the road to maintain a flow of material to various publications, particularly to those for which we have assignments. For us the digital age has been a boon, allowing us to scan photographs prior to leaving home from files we’ve amassed over the decades. With those scanned images I have provided several other magazines with stories.

As well, I’ve also been able to supply photo editors with individual images. But for us the sale of our images and stories is more than a livelihood, believing that we are helping others to enjoy some of America’s most interesting areas. And so, if you find a copy of Motorhome, we hope you’ll pick it up and page through to the story on Acoma.

Today, we departed the Northeast, bound now for a day in Washington, DC visiting relatives. After that, we’ll be in the Harpers Ferry and Antitiem areas. Both of these historic parks are famous for Civil War interpretations, and we’ll be telling you about those areas in several days.


We leave the Northeast with considerable regret, as it has been such a pleasure to see Janie’s children and her grandchildren. While there the week was marked by Halloween activities, and we both believe that there are fewer places in the country where Halloween is more front-and-center.

Everywhere we traveled throughout New England, pumpkins, skeletons, and spider webs decorated front porches. Farms, in fact, are devoted to the production of oversize pumpkins, such as the one Griffin Polga is attempting to heft.

No where, however, did Halloween seem more prominent than at one home along Shades of Death Road, specifically, the residence of Katie and Keith Connelly. Here, they have been hosting an annual Halloween party for about a decade, and each year the celebration just gets better and better.

This year their entire double garage was walled off in black paper. Suspended from the ceiling were complete skeletons—or structures that appeared to be skeletons. On the floor a battery-operated hand crept across the cement, while in one particularly dark corner hung yet another skeleton, and when you passed, it began to speak.

Over 70 people attended, presumably to help the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year find a living body that they might possess. Originally, that was a big part of the reason for celebrating Halloween in such a bizarre way.

It’s just one of the aspects of the Northeast that make it so unique, and that was revealed to me through our on-going travels.

Tonight, we’re in a KOA just outside of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, but I suspect that as Halloween jells in our minds, that we’ll have more to say about this regional phenomenon.

One Response to “Restrospective On New Mexico’s Acoma Pueblo & New England’s Halloween”

  1. Gail Beeson Says:

    I have acquired a piece of Susan Sarracino’s pottery and have had a terrible time finding anything about her. You mention that in your November issue of Motorhome Magazine you have an article on her. Is it possible to get an on-line view of this article since I am unable to find the magazine here in Central Oregon? Thank you.