Saturday, July 17, 2010

Petroglyph National Monument

Just about 15 minutes away from my apartment here in Albuquerque is the Petroglyph National Monument, basically small cliffs and small valleys in an arid environment where there are lots of petroglyphs.

Last weekend, I decided that I needed some sun, which is very uncharacteristic of me. So I impulsively decided to go to Petroglyph National Monument and hike around the Boca Negra Canyon. I haven't really been taking pictures lately; after my trip to Hawaii (I still have to wade through the thousands of photos from Korea and Hawaii), I haven't been very inspired to. But I took along my camera and, surprisingly, look a couple hundred shots. I guess Albuquerque can be inspiring if I just let it.

Here's the entire photo album- I'm only going to paste a few pictures in this blog entry:

Petroglyph National Monument

(Click on any of the photos below for a bigger version.)

The weather was actually a bit hot for hiking, but I'm stubborn. I threw a cold bottle of water, my camera, wallet, and phone into a backpack and drove across town to the canyon.

The temperatures may have been in the nineties, but it was still gorgeous out. Blue sky, white clouds, and petroglyphs from around 1300- a nice combination, worth the slight sunburn I received.

The petroglyphs here are in the Rio Grande style, speculated to be part of the Pueblo culture. Some of the petroglyphs are very readily recognizable, but others are unidentifiable. The following was one of my favorites, because I thought it looked like a lizard with a lollipop. Yes, I know there were no lollipops in 1300, but still!

One of my favorite things about living in this city is the sky. It's volatile and always beautiful. The clouds are very fickle here- nowhere to be seen during the beginning of the day, lightly and airy and fluffy in the afternoon, and then dark, ominous, and colorful in the evening.

A very distinct collection of petroglyphs. I couldn't figure out what these were, but they're interesting. Most of the petroglyphs were facing south or southeast, probably a side effect of the weather (the sun, the snow).

I loved this incongruous boardwalk at the base of the first trail I hiked (the Mesa Point Trail). The first trail was pretty short, leading up to a flat mesa-type area. After Mesa Point, I walked along this boardwalk to another short trail.

These Petroglyphs looked a little deeper than the ones on Mesa Point, and the rocks were a different color- less red, more slate or gray. Who knows what that means.

I walked back to my car after the second trail and spotted something under a bridge, part of the boardwalk system. I took a picture from afar and tried to figure out what it was. I got as close as I could to take more pictures- this was the last one I took before the critter scampered off.

A bunny! A tiny, cute, white-tailed little bunny! He was just sprawled out in the dirt, relaxing in the shade of the bridge. He was the smallest bunny I've ever seen, probably no more than a pound, and I just wanted to grab him and give him a drink of water (even if rabbits don't like water).

It was a nice day, though I was wiped out by the end. I was only hiking for a couple hours at most, but the ninety-degree heat and the unrelenting sun were exhausting.

The petroglyphs helped me quiet my mind a little, getting me closer to peace. I always have a lot of white noise in my brain, and the quietness, the serenity, the scarcity of people all helped. There's a sort of gravity in the rocks, that feeling of history that I always get when I see petroglyphs or anything else that remains in its natural state from centuries ago. I'll definitely be going back, with and without my camera.

More photos from New Mexico soon!


jeanny July 20, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

Isn't it such a cute bun?? Teeny-tiny little baby, all limp from the 100 degree heat.

I wanted to take it home with me, but it didn't want to come. :(