Origins – Sandstone Cave Carving

ra-cave-7Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Less than 40 miles from Santa Fe, a luxury guest resort offers accommodations and a venue for gatherings of all types. Our purpose for visiting Origins, featured in the opening photo above, is the Cave Tour through one of the cave creations of Ra Paulette. The soft sandstone lends itself to being manipulated and Mr. Paulette has built caves from the sandstone for over a quarter of a century.

ra-cave-8Unfortunately for you, however, I can only show you the above two photos of his handiwork.  That’s because photographs of the interior are not allowed (except for those images you might capture of the interior view through the doors or windows.) The opening photo features a glimpse of the living area just inside the doorway, and the photo immediately above features a sculpture behind a window near the front door (which you can see on the right.)

ra-cave-2The cave tour starts from the main building at Origins. The group meets in the courtyard pictured above and begins a guided 1/4-mile (400 meter) uphill hike to the site of the cave.


As you can see by the terrain, the hike is on a narrow trail, is uphill to the cave, but is relatively easy. The image captured above is from our return trek back to the Origins compound. The Yurt (round structure) in the distance is one of the resort’s conference venues. Cave tours are scheduled in advance and tickets can be purchased online. There were about a dozen people on our tour, and our group was given as much time as we wanted to spend in the cave before returning.

The cave exterior.

The tour guide is knowledgeable about the structure and history of the artisan who created this home. Our first views of the cave was of several windows, the cave’s entrance is located on the side opposite the trail’s end. CBS News featured a segment on Ra Paulette and his cave art, some of which are fully livable domiciles. You can view a gallery of images from that Sunday Morning program segment here.  More about Origins New Mexico can be found on their website here.

The images in the gallery below feature views from along the trail. Click on an image to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner



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