June 26, 2012

Trip Start Apr 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Enchanted Trails

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The RV park we stayed in last
night was a great facility and one that we would use again.  From Gallup we headed south on AZ Rt. 602,
and then East on AZ Rt. 53 to “El Morro National Monument”.  The drive was very interesting as we passed through
the Navajo Indian Reservation, the scenery changed frequently and the time
passed quickly.   The principal attraction at El Morro National
Monument is a huge sandstone rock cliff on which inscriptions have been left by
many cultures.  Over the centuries
travelers have stopped at the wall to camp and drink from the pool of water at
the base of the cliff.  First came the
ancient pueblo cultures that left their petroglyphs on the wall, then came the Spaniards
who carved their messages into the wall, next came the explorers from the east,
the U.S. Military, and finally the settlers moving westward, all of who left
some inscriptions on the wall.  It is truly
a living history book.  After a picnic
lunch we continued east on Rt. 53 to “El Malpais National Monument”.  At the park we took a short hike to see the
lava flow and the lava tube that created a large cave; unfortunately the cave
is closed to the public because of the “White-Nose Syndrome” that is killing
many bats.  At one point the roof of a lava
tube has collapsed creating a large depression filled with large lava boulders.  I was able to climb down the boulders into
the depression and partway into a small cave opening; it was a strange feeling
standing there on the lava that changed the landscape.  There are many opportunities within the park
for hiking and viewing the lava flows and sandstone bluffs, but we were able to
only see a small portion of the park.  Continuing along highway 53 we passed through
a large lava flow, where the lava was on both sides of the road and seemed to
stretch to the base of the surrounding mountains.  When we got back onto I-40, at the town of
Grants, we were surprised to see that the lava flow was visible on both sides
of the highway.  We found a campground, “Enchanted
Trails” a Passport America campground, just west of Albuquerque.  Like most campgrounds in the southwest this
campground was all dirt and gravel with only a few small trees.    

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