Prior to this trip if anyone had asked me about my thoughts on New Mexico, let alone Albuquerque, I would have been utterly stumped for a response.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the scenery as we cruised through the land of enchantment. I would have thought that an arid environment would have left the landscape devoid of colors, but instead it seemed like it provided a more vibrant contrast between the natural features. What trees and shrubs were there had a healthy, verdant hue that stood out against the various warm browns and oranges of the ground and mountains. Strike that against a blue sky dotted with the occasional cottony cloud and it made for a gorgeous, albeit gusty ride.
We stopped at the Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post for the evening. They are right off of Route 66 and offered all of the necessary amenities for a comfortable nights stay (and for about $29 with the Good Sam’s discount, the price is hard to beat!) They are walking distance from a camping world in the event you need or desire something RV related (for us, a sponge holder, paper towel rack, and what will hopefully become the new catio!).
Even better, we arrived early enough in the day to be able to get the cats settled and set out for a quick hike in a nearby park.
We opted on visiting the Piedras Marcadas Trail as it was close to the RV Park, and because I was keen to go and see the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs (or at least many of them) were created by the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people, and were scraped into the basalt rock around year 1300. The petroglyphs are designed in what is considered the Rio Grande style, which came about when the population along the Rio Grande increased around that time. The significance and spiritual tie can vary based on the various indigenous populations; Pueblo, Dine’ (Navajo) and Apache. (Information was garnered from various signs along the trail that highlighted areas where petroglyphs were to be found).
Despite being close to a town and community (google maps actually led us to a home a street or two away…) once you left the parking lot it as though you could become lost in the landscape. The trail meandered through the brush and along rocky ridges, with the occasional sign describing how far along the trail you were and what it was that you were seeing. While there were plenty of petroglyphs visible from the trail, I was thrilled that as you clambered up the rocks (while taking care not to walk on or touch any of the etchings) more would become visible as you changed your perspective.
While some of the images seemed obscure from one side or up close, it was amazing that as you moved on you could look back and suddenly see figures or designs that hadn’t seemed obvious upon first inspection. While a number were clearly human or animal figures or handprints, it was interesting to try and imagine what the significance or message was behind other images. The scenery itself was also gorgeous, with various flowers and small creatures if you looked closely.
Perhaps my favorite part was finding some petroglyphs off of a small trail that diverged from the main path. Colby had moved along to try and see more of the main trail as I lagged behind trying to be sure not to miss a petroglyph (my fascination with old rocks, nooks and crannies is something he seems to be tolerating well!). I was pleased that on the way back to the car I was able to show him one that I found to be interesting.
I highly recommend seeing the park, and am happy that we had a small chance to explore an area I knew so little about.
For the herbivorous side of things, we were ravenous and ready for a good meal after hiking around. We stopped in at Brixens which was open a bit later than other places, and offered plenty of veggie and vegan options. They give you a tablet with their menu, so you can see which items (most of them) can be done as either a vegetarian or vegan option. We opted with splitting the “meatloaf” with mashed potatoes and and delicious side salad. The one meal was plenty for the two of us, and was a tasty take on a filling homey feeling meal.
Thank you for the comments and well wishes on our travels! I am playing a bit of catch up with the blog as we didn’t sit still for long while traveling, and now that we are in Oregon I can’t seem to find a place to loiter that has WiFi. I will try and catch up on some of our travels in the next few days!