Signs of life

Trip Start Jun 05, 2007
Trip End Jul 26, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Saturday, June 9, 2007

I drove 240 miles to Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.  There was absolutely nothing to see on the drive.  I felt like I was in the west riding along the open plains.  I could see for miles!  At one point I drove 70 miles on a road and didn't pass a single thing...not a person, car or house.

When I arrived at the Salinas site I first stopped at the visitor center.  Then I drove 9 miles to Quarai and then 35 miles to the south to visit the ruins at Gran Quivra.

The ruins I saw at 2 0f the 3 Salina sites were Pueblo ruins of communities that lived there until the 1670's.  The ancient traditions of the Anasazi and Mogollon had traditions with roots going back 7,000 years that later forged the Pueblo society.  This area had been a major trade area and home to about 10,000 people of the 17th century Pueblo world in the southwest.

The sites I visited today had churches built by Spaniards.  In 1598, Spanish leader Don Juan de Onate arrived with colonists to settle New Mexico.  In the 1620's, they built these churches in hopes of converting the Pueblo people.  The two cultures lived side by side many years until the Spaniards were driven out in 1680 in the Pueblo Revolt, but then reconquered in 1697.

Later in the day I visited Three Rivers Petroglyph site and viewed some of the 21,000 petroglyphs made by a group of prehistoric Native Americans known as the Jornada Mogollon.  The most common petroglyph I viewed was a cicrular shape, but there were also some very wild looking creatures too.

I ended the day at Roadrunner Campground in Alamagordo.
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