Rockin' Art

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Enchanted Trails RV Park

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, May 14, 2010

We had planned to skip Albuquerque this trip since we would like to come back sometime in October when they have their annual balloon festival.  But when doing our itinerary for May, I inadvertently had skipped a day.  Instead of spending another day in Santa Fe, we decided to spend a night in Albuquerque.  We booked a night through our discount camping club and didn't realize until we were headed there that this camground was pretty far west of, and inconvenient to, downtown or Old Town.  But we were close to Petroglyph National Monument, so we decided to explore there that afternoon.

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument is located along Albuquerque's West Mesa, a volcanic basalt escarpment.  The monument includes and protects five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites and an estimated 25,000 petroglyphs (drawings carved in rock) made by ancient Pueblan people.  Because we only had a couple of hours to spend, the park ranger recommended that we hike the Rinconada Canyon trail that follows the northern escarpment and provides views of a variety of petroglyphs.

I've included photos of only a small portion of the many petroglyphs we saw.  Some were quite simple, while others more complex.  Many were hard to spot with only casual glancing so we climbed into some of the rockfalls to search them out.  Even so, I'm sure we missed a lot of them.  Unfortunately, modern-day humans have added their own drawings to the ancient ones. In some cases, park officials have scratched out the modern carvings, but they left some signatures from some hikers who were on the trail in 1919 - long before this became a protected area. 

We enjoyed our hike and look forward to coming back to the Albuquerque area sometime in the future and exploring more of what it has to offer. 

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