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

Henry David Thoreau

Last of the Petroglyphs

Saturday May 28, 2011
Enchanted Trails RV Park
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Up this morning early in order to be on the remaining
Petroglyph National Monument trails
as the sun came up.
I had forgotten that even though they are trails,
in order to protect the glyphs from
even more vandalism in the form of graffiti
than is already there,
the areas are fenced and the monument locks
the gates from 5pm to 8am daily.
So as you can see, the sun was
shining brightly on the Mesa Point Trail
in Boca Negra Canyon
when we got there
This was actually the first warning
we’ve seen in all the time we’ve
been hanging out in their territory
Petroglyph II 002
This trail is partially paved and it’s a good
thing since it goes up along very
rocky ground. 
It’s also located
very near an expensive
neighborhood of new adobe looking
very large homes.  Some of them
looked like an entire Pueblo.
Petroglyph II 011
Petroglyph National Monument
protects one of the largest
petroglyph sites in North America.
Surveys confirm the presence of
20,000 petroglyphs from 400 to 2000
years old.  Today’s Pueblo people consider
the entire monument a sacred place.
Petroglyph II 003
Petroglyph II 006
Petroglyph II 043
As well as this little jack rabbit.
Don’t you LOVE those ears??
Boca Negra Canyon is 5280 feet above sea level.
It is just west of the Sandia Mountains which
crest at 10, 678 feet.
It has two very short trails so next
we headed out for the second one,
Mesa Point Trail
The hand prints really make me
want to just put my hand right on
that ancient one.  But
you really can’t.  The oils of your
hands deteriorate the petroglyphs.
Petroglyph II 026A 
The view from on top.  Sandia Mountains to the right.
I’m looking at what were thought
to be hunting blinds for the
ancient peoples and those
facing east to be spiritual places
which they continue to be for
current Native Americans.
Petroglyph II 035 
David took this great picture of
the sun through rabbit ears.
I think we had just missed the blooms here but
it looked lovely just the same
Petroglyph II 047
These pictures will give you an
idea of how close you can get to
the petroglyphs on this trail.
Petroglyph II 049 
Who is this?  And is he playing tennis?
Based on petroglyphs like this next one,
and other evidence, it is thought that the
Natives here traded with others in
Central and South America
and that birds and bird feathers
were a part of that trade.
Sure looks like a parrot.
Petroglyph II 051

There were many recurring and familiar symbols.

Sadly there was a lot of graffiti on the rocks
here.  Don’t know if it has come before
or since the area was protected.
It’s difficult for me to
understand why anyone would want
to deface such ancient drawings.
I was flabbergasted at this.
But on a lighter note
I really had to laugh at this sign
on the way down from the mesa top.

Run are you kidding???

Petroglyph II 042 

Because both of these were short trails,
(I know you couldn’t tell it by the number of pictures)
we drove 6 miles north of the visitor’s center to
the northern most trail which is accessed by
driving through a neighborhood which you
can see on the map.
Petroglyph II 070 
Some how we totally missed the
road wide trail into
Piedras Marcadas Canyon
and instead hiked over the canyon wall
rather than around it through the deep sand
expending a serious extra amount of energy
and time.

The real trail went off just to the left of
this trail map but we followed the MUCH
smaller one over the top.  We would
probably never have figured it out
except that as you can see, you go
down the trail, around a loop and out the same way.
So when we got to the other side and found the
giant road, we knew there was something amiss
but didn’t figure it out until we got back.
Petroglyph II 069
Here we go up the wrong trail
Petroglyph II 071
But we did see some lovely desert flowers
Petroglyph II 072 
This was a great panel.
Petroglyph II 081

As you may have noticed,  I’m really
attracted to spirals. and labyrinths.
Winnona even has them on her upholstery.
Maybe that’s one of the things that let me
know we belonged together!  :-)
Notice the bullet holes shot
in the hands. I wonder if it
would help stop this sort of vandalism
to make the moument a National Park?
Now here is a trail sign no one wants to see.
Petroglyph II 103
Is this a stork?
Love the iridescent lichen.
Petroglyph II 108
Looked like this was a gathering place
for at least two folks to grind
grains into flour.
Petroglyph II 116A
We had timed it just about right
since the sun was moving up over head
in the sky and making picture taking
even more difficult
Petroglyph II 137
as we finished the trail
and set off for Winnona
and shade.
Petroglyph II 139
On the way back, we did stop
by the Camping World next door.
They didn’t have the correct LP Gas Detector
we needed but they did have these
pot luck/chili cook-off plates
so we are ready for sampling.
I’m the blue sky and ocean
David is the green tree guy.
Different strokes for very different folks.
D & Passport Book 005A
It was really windy this afternoon.
Here’s what it looked like when
we got back from the hikes.  It was
practically blowing me over.  I had
myself braced so David could take my picture.
D & Passport Book 010
After lunch we hung out and did pretty
much nothing until we decided it was time for
a grocery store run.  We headed over to
Smith’s which was apparently purchased
at some point by Kroger because my
discount card worked perfectly.  Nice surprise
not to have to fill out the info for yet another
one of those cards in order to get the “savings”.
We could tell we were in the Southwest by
the huge display of tortillas.  Don’t think
I’ve ever seen so many types and sizes.
And that’s all folks!!
Hope it’s not too windy tomorrow to move on to
the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert
tomorrow.  But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


  1. Yum! Tortilla heaven! I'm amazed at the people that deface history (at the petroglyphs. How stupid is that!? Nice pictures!

  2. Great post! Make sure to get you some of those tortillas- preferably smothered in Green Chili sauce. My family grows the chili in Luna County, NM.

  3. Just another down day for you 2, right? You do look like you're having fun though!


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