Centennial Museum gecko logo

Desert Diary


This page was designed with CSS, and looks best in a CSS-aware browser—which, unfortunately, yours is not. However, the document should still be readable, though not presented in the most sophisticated manner.

Charles Lindbergh was serving as a goodwill envoy for the U.S. Government when he visited Mexico and met the American ambassador's daughter, who became his wife in 1929. Anne Morrow Lindbergh flew solo for the first time August 29, 1929, but earlier that month the Lindberghs flew to Pecos Ruins in New Mexico at the request of celebrated archaeologist, A. V. Kidder of the Carnegie Institution.

Imagine skimming 15 feet over treetops, banking the plane and circling to make photographs of such places as the dwellings in Del Muerto Canyon and Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. In all, they took 109 astonishing photographs that revealed unheard of archaeological sites and geological wonders. We don't know who actually snapped the shutter, but we do know that Anne later served as her husband's co-pilot, navigator, and radio operator as they made air surveys across the continent and in the Caribbean to pioneer Pan American's air mail service.

Not only was "Lucky Lindy" the first to fly alone over the 3600 miles nonstop across the Atlantic, but he and his bride were the first in American archaeology to photograph ruins from the air. pen and ink

Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Florence E. Schwein, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio, University of Texas at El Paso.

Col. and Mrs. Lindberg

Col. and Mrs. Lindberg, 1929. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.



Snow, David H. 1981. Charles A. Lindbergh's Air Photographs of the Southwest—1929. El Palacio, 87(3):27-31.

Web Resources

Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation