Day 4… Destination Petroglyph National Monument [Jul 3] 2010

Exhausted from our long drive the previous day (Lubbock to Albuquerque), Lucy and I slept in this morning.   Since Lucy had slept basically the whole trip since we left Houston, I thought it would be wise to take her to a dog park.  However, she was still too timid to play with the other dogs.  The dog park was just a couple of streets from hotel but it had no grass only wood chips.    Grass is a little scarce in this area unless you put forth a lot of effort and water.  Albuquerque is nestled between several mountain chains in the distance.   Now when I say mountains I am not talking Rocky Mountains but smaller ones.   It was really cool to be driving down street and see these huge looming piles of dirt and trees in the distance.

Lucy spent afternoon napping in hotel while I went out to experience the hot New Mexico sun at the Petroglyph National Monument.   The Petroglyph park is about 20 minutes northeast of the city and very easy to get to.  There are no trees so the sun protection is a must.

“The West Mesa,  is a 17 mile long table of land west of the Rio Grande.    This land emerged about 150,000 years ago when lava poured out of a crack in the Earth’s crust.  Layer upon layer of lava flowed over and around existing landforms.  Eruptions continued from isolated points  along the fissure, forming the cones we see today.   Long ago the local inhabitants discovered that chipping away at the rocks’ thin desert varnish revealed a lighter gray beneath and left a lasting mark.   American Indians believe these images are as old as time.   Archeologists estimate that most of the images were made 400-700 years ago by ancestors of today’s Native people” [excerpt from the Petroglyph National Monument brochure].

These pictures attached show a few of the drawings.   Not all drawings were easy to see and because of the area rattlesnakes were a high possibility so my full attention was divided 🙂    As I walked up through the rocks under the hot sun, I did wonder what possessed those ancient peoples to want to climb up in the rocks and leave their “mark”.