Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

a VERY full day

Thursday May 26, 2011
Cactus RV Park
Tucumcari, NM

Out today again to beat the sun.
What a joke.
We were at the
Visitor’s Center for
Petroglyph National Monument
at 8am when they opened
and the sun was already blazing.


It’s a great looking building
(notice blazing sun)


and a patio with a unique covering

I got my lick-em-stick-em stamp and
my dated stamp for my National
Parks Passport Book.

D & Passport Book 002 

D & Passport Book 007
I love the book and that
it is another way to support
the National Parks that do
so much for my enjoyment of life.

We also picked up a trail map
and trail descriptions
(click if you want to read them)



The information showed 3 Canyons
and we decided to do one each morning
since being out here until noon
is clearly not a good idea.
So today’s hike was the 2.5 mile

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 011

This is a volcanic area.
West Mesa is a 17 mile long table of land
west of the Rio Grande.
About 150,000 years ago lava
flowed from a large crack in the Earth’s crust.
The lava flowed over and around existing landforms
such as low hills
.  The softer sediments on the mesa’s eastern edge eroded leaving a jagged edged escarpment.

As the land eroded from beneath it,
the lava cap stuck out from the edge
and eventually broke off into the huge basalt boulders
that rolled down the hillside toward the eroded valley. 
These are the rocks on which the Petroglyphs were pecked. 
You can see them, behind David,
having tumbled down from the top of the mesa.

The Rinconada trail runs along the base
of the escarpment.

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 014

The basalt has a number of metals in it and
you are cautioned to avoid them during storms as they
are often struck by lightning. Not much of a chance of that
at present.  But the metals were obvious when we accidentally
tapped our rings against them and in the rainbows
caused by the sun in some pictures.

Because of the extremely bright sunlight,
these pictures don’t show how
black the rocks into which the glyphs were
pecked actually are.

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 028

Chipping away the surface of the rocks’ thin desert varnish
reveals a lighter color beneath.  It is believed
that most of the glyphs in this National Monument
are between 400 and 700 years old  Some may be
as old as 2000 years.  This area has been a
sacred place to Native Peoples for a long time
and continues to be to the Puebloan people of today.

Naturally we took TONS of pictures
of these amazing glyph images from the past.
Here are a few of them.



This was thought to be one of the
oldest of the petroglyphs and therefore
more faint.
Can you see two sheep sort of things
facing down the rock to the lower right?



Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 046 

Because of the bright sunshine,
it was impossible to take pictures
at the distance at which we
could actually see these petroglyphs
on the mesa sides.
But here is one with some of its

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 056


It was amazing to me that in such heat
and powerful sun, so many green and
growing things were thriving.

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 052


Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 041

One final image. 
The serpent is a creature sacred to many ancient
spiritual beliefs but a villain
in the Christian theology.
I have always found that interesting.

Petroglyph Nat'l Monument 042

It was nearly noon by the time
we had done the entire trail
in our usual slow manner.
We were hot and hungry.

So we drove 4 miles over to the
Pueblo Harvest Cafe and Bakery
which is part of the Pueblo Indian Culture Museum.

There we had a couple of delicious fry bread tacos
and checked out the museum for a visit tomorrow.

By about 2:30 we were cool and feeling rejuvenated.
So we went over to walk around Old Town Albuquerque..

Like most “Old Towns”, this one is the original
center of the settlement.  It is a very quaint shopping area
with plazas and fountains.




and other interesting people & critters
enjoying this beautiful day.

Old Town Albuquerque (13)


There were shady courtyards


sunny benches


a central square

Old Town Albuquerque (26) 

and a very beautiful church,
San Felipe De Neri,
which has continuously held
religious services since 1706.




Old Town Albuquerque (19) 



There were quaint Shops
Some with beautiful flowers
like this large prickly pear cactus




Old Town Albuquerque (28)

Old Town Albuquerque (30)

Some had patrons with
messy footprints

Old Town Albuquerque (27)

Old Town Albuquerque (31)

Check out the gal on the second floor balcony

Old Town Albuquerque (33)

Old Town Albuquerque (7)

Some had great T-shirts
One for David

Old Town Albuquerque (8)

and one for me

Old Town Albuquerque (9)

It seems funny as I look back at all pictures,
we took, only two were of the two stores
we actually went in.

My VERY favorite store was called Vintage Cowgirl.
I can’t believe I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the outside
and the inside.   Too busy looking around I guess.
We have only these two of the inside.

It’s a GREAT store with
COWGIRL clothes
vintage and new.
Now if I had lots of room in Winnona
and lots of $$$,
I could have dropped a lot of it here
and am sorry I didn’t get many more pictures
of the store and its wares.

It might be my favorite clothing store ever with its
flirty cowgirl attire and softer romantic Victorian pieces.
Great colors.  Not your usual “western” store.

This was a sign on one of the walls
Old Town Albuquerque (40)

and this was a shot of the selection of “summer” boots.


Our final stop was, of course,
the ice cream store
They had great ice cream and outdoor seating.
I was SURE David took a picture of me
happily licking my cone, but I sure can’t find it now
amid the hundreds of pictures we took
on this very full day.

We had a GREAT time
on a beautiful blue sky day.

Thinking maybe we
will head over tomorrow to the
Pueblo Indian Culture Museum.


  1. Great tour of the desert and the town!!

    Never new there were "Summer" Cowgirl Boots... Where do you hook your spurs? ;o)

  2. Hubby has the Homeland Security tee ... can't recall where he picked it up. And isn't the answer to the other t-shirt, "but of course" :-))))

  3. LOVED the Homeland Security t-shirt!

    You guys sure do pick some cool places to visit :)

  4. Looks like you are having a great time. I have that same "homeland security" t-shirt. I love it.


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