Bernalillo gears up for car show
The Town of Bernalillo is hosting its first annual Old Route 66
Classic, Antique & Custom Car Show on Saturday, July 26 from
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Loretto Park (the same location as
the Bernalillo Wine Festival) in Bernalillo. This is a family-oriented
event and is free and open to the public. This event will feature
local food vendors, kids’ jumps, and local live entertainment.
Registration (by July 7th) is $20 for cars, $15 for motorcycles,
and $10 for bicycles and the Car Corral. Registration for all cars,
motorcycles, and bicycle exhibitors includes a free t-shirt. Late
registration for all categories is $25. Registration fee for food
vendors is $75, while registration for all other vendors (such as
merchandise vendors) is $50.
The Car Show events will include a meet-and-greet on Friday, July
25 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., followed by a rally at 8:00 p.m. There
will also be an awards presentation during the show on July 26 at
The official vendor application and car show registration forms
can be downloaded by going to www.townofbernalillo.org and clicking
on the Community Events link. For more information, please contact
Felicia Trujillo at (505) 771-7121, or Valarie Wilkins or Danette
Lovato at (505) 242-8355.
Bernalillo promotes cottonwood tree planting
Mayor Patricia A. Chávez and the Bernalillo Parks Department
are promoting the preservation of Bernalillo’s tree canopy
and encouraging residents to obtain and plant Rio Grande cottonwood
trees on their private property throughout the community. The Town
of Bernalillo Parks Department will host the first annual Keep Bernalillo
Beautiful cottonwood tree sale in conjunction with the town’s
Fireworks Showcase on June 29 at 4:00 p.m. at Bernalillo High School.
Tree sales will end at dusk when the fireworks celebration begins.
Native Rio Grande cottonwoods are indigenous to the Rio Grande
Valley, are common to our area, and are considered moderately drought-tolerant
once established. Trees can provide a vast amount of shade very
quickly, and will be sold below retail market price to encourage
residential planting. They will be available in a variety of sizes
and prices: $5.50 in one gallon containers; $8.50 in two gallon
containers; $17 in five gallon containers; and $40 in fifteen gallon
El Rinconcito Español
• El que al cielo escupe, en la cara le cae.
He who spits towards the sky, in his face
falls the spittle.
• Quien sabe dos lenguas vale por dos.
He who knows two languages has double value.
• Cada cabeza es un mundo.
Each head is a world.
Submitted by www.sospanyol.com, Placitas—Spanish
instruction that focuses on oral communication skills.
Independence Day festivities abound
On Friday, July 4, the City of Rio Rancho will recognize
our country’s Independence Day with a parade, ceremony, concerts,
and fireworks display.
The parade will kick off at 10:00 a.m., head east from Country
Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and will end on Pinetree Road
near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans’
Monument Park. Over two dozen entries consisting of classic cars,
military organizations, and much more will make up this year’s
Immediately following the parade, a ceremony marking the 232nd
anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence will
take place at the Veterans’ Monument Park. The ceremony will
begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. and will include several guest
The 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza claims to be one of the
biggest and best fireworks shows in the state. Loma Colorado Park,
located at 555 Loma Colorado Drive, will be the optimal location
to watch this entertaining display that will fill the city’s
skyline. Parking will be available at the adjacent Rio Rancho High
School for a fee of $5 per car or van, with proceeds benefitting
the High School Booster Club. Handicapped parking will be located
at the parking lot next to the park.
The park will open to the public at 3:30 p.m. and the live musical
entertainment will kick off at 4:00 p.m. with The Stingrays. Red
Letter F will perform from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and The Hit Squad
will conclude the night’s musical entertainment from 8:00
p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The fireworks show will begin at approximately
Activities for children and food will be available for purchase.
O’Hare’s Grill and Pub will have hot dogs, barbecue
sandwiches, cotton candy, Hawaiian ice, and more available.
This event is sponsored by the city’s Parks, Recreation,
and Community Services Department, and is free to the public. The
fireworks show and its start time are subject to weather. This is
an alcohol-free event.
For more information, call (505) 891-5015 or visit
The Town of Bernalillo will present a Fireworks Showcase and activities
starting at dusk at Bernalillo High School on June 29. For further
details, call the Town at 867-3311.
The traditional Placitas Fourth of July parade includes no speeches
or best float prizes. At 10:00 a.m. on July 4, anyone who would
like to participate in the parade should meet in front of Placitas
Heights. Residents will probably begin lining the Village streets
at around 10:30 a.m. At 11:00, some will watch while others follow
volunteer fire brigade vehicles on bicycles, funky floats, cart-pulling
llamas, and in antique cars in a loop through the Village of Placitas.
At least, that's the way it has always happened before.
Old church sign at Cabezon
In the shadow of a giant
—MARGARET M. NAVA
Even before you leave the paved road, you sense this place is different.
The air is crisper, the sun is brighter, and the high desert scenery
is otherworldly. Then, once you set off down the rutted dirt road,
you begin to feel as if you are lost—as if someone is watching.
This is Cabezón Country, a remote region located approximately
twenty miles northwest of the small town of San Ysidro. Millions
of years ago, it was under an inland sea, but during the Pliocene
epoch (about 5.3 million years ago), Mount Taylor in the nearby
San Mateo Mountains became active. Repeated eruptions built lava
domes, produced lava flows, and created a field of smaller volcanoes.
Molten lava worked its way through the sedimentary rock layers deposited
by the ancient sea. As time and weather removed much of the soft
sedimentary rock, they left behind erosion-resistant basaltic columns
or volcanic necks. Composed of solidified magma mixed with fragmental
rock materials, these necks are the fossilized remains of the innards
of the volcanoes.
Although there are at least fifty volcanic necks in the lava fields
of Mount Taylor, Cabezón Peak, rising 7,785 feet above sea
level, is the most prominent. The early Indians who lived on this
rugged land thought the peak was sacred and each tribe had a name
for it. The Hemish (Jemez) called it Wasema’a; the
Taugweaga (Isleta) called it Tchi’kuienad; and the
Diné (Navajo) called it Tse Najin. According to
one legend, the Navajos believed the “black rock” was
the head of Ye-itso, the giant killed by the Twin War Gods, and
that the lava flow, now known as El Malpais, was his congealed blood.
When Spanish explorers came upon the scene in the mid-1700s, they
named the peak “Cabezón,” meaning the big head.
They built settlements and raised cattle. Terrorized by the natives,
the settlers fled for their lives following numerous attacks. However,
before the end of the nineteenth century, four or five villages
had taken root. One of them was Cabezón.
Living in the shadow of the giant wasn’t easy. Although the
140-mile-long Rio Puerco flowed through the region, it was muddy
and often dry. A stagecoach operating on the Old Fort Wingate trail
brought in goods and mail, but only when the weather cooperated.
For a time, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad considered running
tracks through Cabezón, however, Albuquerque seemed a better
and more profitable route, so the little town lost out.
In 1874, William Kanzenbach opened a store and saloon in Cabezón.
When money became a problem, he sold his business to Richard Heller
and John Pflueger, who turned things around and made a profit by
trading food and supplies for sheep and cattle. There was plenty
of open range for the livestock to feed, and their numbers increased
dramatically. At one point, the two men had a herd of ten thousand
sheep and several thousand cattle. They shipped the cattle to market,
and sheared the sheep and sold the wool. Pflueger eventually sold
his share of the business to Heller, who built a new, larger store,
a fourteen-room adobe hotel, and a post office. Heller even helped
build a little church, La Iglesia de San José.
Life was good in Cabezón, and the population eventually
soared to more than 250 people. However, the drought of the 1930s
resulted in the U.S. government passing the Taylor Grazing Act,
aimed at curbing overgrazing and unrestricted use of public lands.
Suddenly, everything changed. Ranchers who once let their cattle
roam freely now had to obtain permits limiting the amount of land
they could use, as well as the number of animals they could graze
on that land. Ranchers who were able to obtain such permits survived;
those who could not drifted away, leaving behind nothing but parched
fields and broken dreams. Unwilling to give up his home or business,
Heller remained in Cabezón until his death in 1947. His widow
tried to keep the store running, but ended up closing it and moving
to Albuquerque a year later.
These days, all that remains of Cabezón are a few deteriorating
buildings and some scraggly tumbleweeds. There are no stores, no
gas stations, and no places to rent videos or order lattes. Even
so, in 1973, Hollywood decided it was the ideal setting for Tonino
Valerii’s comic western, “My Name is Nobody,”
which starred Terence Hill as Nobody and Henry Fonda as an aging
outlaw trying to go out in a blaze of glory. Since then, many of
Cabezón’s abandoned buildings have appeared in numerous
films and television commercials. Unfortunately, possibly because
of those movies and commercials, vandals discovered the old ghost
town. Over the years, they broke windows, desecrated graves, and
stole whatever they thought had value. Because of such destructive
actions, the road leading into Cabezón is now gated and padlocked.
However, if you hike the rocky trail that leads to the top of the
Peak, you can see what is left of the old town. Just don’t
try entering, because the few people who live there don’t
appreciate uninvited visitors.
Some people say ghosts haunt the ruins of Cabezón. Others
think it’s the giant. Maybe he didn’t die, after all.
Maybe he has just been sleeping. Maybe that’s why it feels
like someone is watching as you drive down the road that lies in
The following driving directions to Cabezón are provided
by New Mexico Bureau of Land Management:
Entry into the area is best gained by turning westward from US
550 onto County Road 279, approximately twenty miles northwest of
San Ysidro. A green highway sign labeled “San Luis-Cabezón”
marks the turnoff. Continue twelve miles southwest past the village
of San Luis to the Cabezón turnoff onto BLM Road 1114. The
pavement ends just beyond San Luis. Follow BLM 1114 for 2.9 miles
to the dirt route that leads east to the trailhead. Travel on CR
279 and BLM 1114 is good during dry conditions but can be slippery
during the rainy season and impassable during the winter. Check
with the BLM at (505) 761-8700 before your visit.
Volunteers find less trash in Corrales
Sandoval County Commissioner Donnie Leonard said motorists and
property owners are to be commended for a “significant”
reduction in litter along roadways in at least a portion of his
Leonard and about twenty volunteers led by Girl Scout Troop 1158
and their families conducted a four-hour roadway trash clean-up
drive on Sunday along both Corrales Road and the south end of Loma
Larga Road in Corrales.
“We found a significant reduction in the amount of bottles,
cans, and even cigarette butts this year as compared to similar
drives in prior years,” said Leonard, whose Commission District
2 includes Corrales and southeastern Rio Rancho.
“Not only are motorists tossing less trash out of vehicles,
property owners are keeping their property clean, well maintained,
and weed-free,” Leonard said. “Those efforts by land
owners are keeping the community clean and may be encouraging motorists
to litter less,” Leonard said.
The Corrales clean-up drive was sponsored by Sandoval County, which
works with non-profit youth groups to conduct similar trash pick-up
campaigns throughout the County each spring and fall. The County
provides volunteer groups with gloves, vests, and trash bags under
a grant from New Mexico Clean and Beautiful. The gloves and vests
are returned to the County for reuse in later clean-up efforts.
Elena Kayak, who coordinated the clean-up drive for Girl Scout
Troop 1158, said the scouts volunteered their work as part of an
effort to earn the Girl Scouts’ Sign of the Rainbow award.
She said volunteers collected about forty-five bags of trash along
the two roads, or about one-third less than during similar cleanup
drives in prior years.
“There was still a good deal of trash to pick up, but it
was a lot less than in our efforts in earlier years,” Kayak
said. “Corrales Road was in much better condition than we
have seen it before.”
Kayak said the troop moved to the south end of Loma Larga Road
in Corrales where litter was more prevalent. The troop will conduct
a concentrated effort along Loma Larga in the fall.
“Cleaning up the community on a beautiful day beats a workout
in the gym hands-down,” she said. “It’s a great
way to get exercise and converse with friends while providing a
Friends of Coronado State Monument present July
The Friends of Coronado State Monument are presenting two programs
in July. First will be a tour of Pecos National Monument on July
19. Participants should plan to meet at Coronado State Monument
at 7:30 a.m. to carpool to Pecos, a distance of approximately seventy-three
The ancestral Puebloans knew their real estate. Located on a hilltop
overlooking the beautiful Pecos River Valley, the Pueblo was ideally
situated for both farming and defense. However, the ancient pueblo
was best known as a trading center linking the Puebloans with the
Plains tribes. At 10 a.m., a guide will lead a tour of the ruins,
which include the remains of a large mission complex. Picnic tables
are available for those wishing to eat at the Monument, or a short
drive will take you back to Santa Fe for dining.
Remember to wear a hat, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes,
and bring water. We also ask that you offer to help your driving
host with gasoline expenses. The tour is open to the public, and
no reservations are needed. Admission to the monument is $3 per
The second event, to be held on July 20 at 2:00 p.m., will be a
presentation by Alex Candelaria Sedillos on the topic of “The
Strange and Mysterious Journey of Don Francisco Vasquez de Coronado.”
The great expedition is our American Indian-Hispanic New Mexico
legacy today and deserves a re-telling of the story as we know it—and
an examination of what we don’t know. This is one of the most
fascinating stories of the conquest of the Americas.
Alex Candelaria Sedillos is originally from the Black Range of
Southern New Mexico and has family history going back many generations
in American Indian life. Along with his daughter Nina, a UNM graduate
anthropologist, Alex researches, travels to, writes about, and documents
in photography and videography the story of the places and people
of the Great Southwest. He has developed a keen interest in the
expedition of Vasquez de Coronado and the Pueblo people of the Tiguex.
Also, he serves as a Ranger at Coronado State Monument.
The program will be held at Sandoval County Historical Society’s
DeLavy House, located on Edmond Road in Bernalillo. To reach DeLavy
House, take Highway 550, slightly west of Coronado State Monument,
turn north on the west edge of the Phillips 66 gas station and onto
a dirt road (Edmond Road). Follow the road to its end. The lecture
is open to the public, and no reservations are needed. Admission
is $5 per person and is free to members of the Friends of Coronado