Sunday, February 26, 2017

Santa Fe Attraction: Meow Wolf - House of Eternal Return

In January 2017, Karen and I decided to check out a new attraction in Santa Fe. It's known locally as Meow Wolf. What the hell is Meow Wolf you ask? It's freaky and fun!!!

George R. R. Martin (author of the books that the HBO mega hit series "Game of Thrones" is based on) donated $2.7 million to a Santa Fe art collective called Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf leased a vacant bowling alley in Santa Fe. Other money for the project was obtained from the city of Santa Fe and many individuals. Meow Wolf built an "art complex" inside the hollowed out bowling alley.

This "art complex" turned into the "House of Eternal Return". This new tourist attraction has become wildly popular with decent lines on weekends to get in for a tour. It costs $15 for adults to enter.

The place is kind of a mix between Burningman, a modern art museum, a concentration camp and a music venue, a spaceship.

The premise going in is a mystery for you to solve about a family that involves time / space travel and strange family issues. The first thing you encounter as you enter is a two story full sized house. You walk around the house finding out about the family that lived there by exploring: newspapers; diaries; photos; videos; bedrooms; kitchen; bathroom; living room; etc. You discover portals to other dimensions hidden in a refrigerator and in other locations. The other dimensions are freaky and cool!!!

Karen and I were not sure what we were getting into when we visited and we didn't really do much research on the house before hand. I think it would help to read up about it on the internet before you enter. We just wanted to see the cool sights inside. We looked at some of the literature scattered about the house and we watched a couple computer video about the dad and his love of electronics and about a mysterious thing that happened to the Mom. We didn't really pay that much attention to the mystery story line.

There are interesting colored lights, weird artsy stuff and small passages to rooms you can enter to see different aspects of the mystery. There are a lot of hands-on activities that kids and adults really enjoy. Often, you see people in white lab coats wandering around and eyeing you very closely. They serve not only as security for the facility but they also tie into the mystery. You can ask them questions about the story and they give you vague and mysterious answers that may help you un-peel the clues. You always feel closely watched as you tour the rooms, especially when you notice all the security cameras hidden about.

If tight crowded spaces and darkness are disturbing, this might not be your cup of tea, but we found it fascinating and cleaver.

At some point we will return and take our time try and get into the mystery built into the house. We discovered all the portals to the other dimensions and we explored every nook, cranny, stairway, and art space.

Going in we weren't sure if we would enjoy our visit, but as we left, we both agreed that it was well done and had lots of interesting things to experience. It was well worth our money, we agreed.

Meow Wolf built a stage area as part of the exhibit. They periodically hold music events. The attraction has become so popular that Meow Wolf is planning to create similar facilities in other cities such as Austin, Texas and others.

If you are passing through the Santa Fe region, take some time to check out the hottest indoor activity around.  There are lots of RV parks in our region. I have a blog describing many camping opportunities in Los Alamos. Los Alamos is an hours drive from Santa Fe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Try out SMTrekkers Super-Maps Page

Source: Kitty Terwolbeck via flickr (Creative Commons)

(By Greg)

We were looking for a way to open up a bunch of online map resources all at once so that we can quickly scan them for possible camping locations while on the road.  The idea was that you could first select a state and then select a set of maps from a list of the best online maps and then those maps would pop open in new windows. You would then go to each map window and zoom into a particular area of interest.

The maps resources we added to the list are my favorite maps that we use when hunting for good boondocking or camping sites.  (I have yet to figure out how to zoom in automatically on a particular state in one of the map resource, so it opens to the full USA :-(   That is the Ultimate Campgrounds Map. The maps I have chosen to use may change as I find better online maps for our purposes.)

You can see the result on our new SMTrekkers Super Maps page.  I'm still working on it - so it's in Beta, so to speak.

Coming up: We took a visit to the "Meow Wolf" facility in Santa Fe.  The place is kind of a mix between Burningman, a modern art museum, a concentration camp, a music venue and a spaceship.

Note: We have another map page that has a lot of map resources for boondockers: Campsite Review Map.

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