Friday, February 5, 2010

My One Hour Adventure

We live no more than two miles from one of the entrances to the Petroglyph National Monument, but I had never parked and walked the trails. Today was a nice, mild winter day, and I thought I'd take my camera and wander in. (If you are unfamiliar the Petroglyph National Monument, click HERE to read about it . . . quite interesting.)

The area I was going into, the Piedras Marcadas Canyon, has a small parking lot and charges no parking or entry fee. It's actually located behind a residential neighborhood. I walked up to a sign at the entrance. It said, "Stay on the marked trail."

I didn't see any markers, to start with, but figured I'd see them a little farther along. From the many footprints, it looked as if the trail went straight ahead, toward an escarpment of large volcanic rocks. So forward I went, hunting all the while for those "markers" I was supposed to see. I got to the edge of the escarpment, and saw some rough trails, two of them, winding up into the rocks.

I had my monopod with me, which I was using as a walking stick, and I took a few steps up into the rocks, but knew almost immediately that I wouldn't be able to make it. My left knee, which is really bad, was already hollering at me. Feeling defeated, I crept back down through the rocks, and back to the sign. That's when I looked to my left, at a large gate, which I had assumed, before, meant "keep out." But on the other side of the gate I spied . . . a trail marker!

And the trail was an easy, sandy one that ran alongside the escarpment.

The petroglyphs were supposed to be identified by numbered markers. I determined that, despite my sore knee, I would make it, at least, to the first marker. The sign said that the petroglyph at marker one would look like this:

I scoured the rocks, looking for that petroglyph, but couldn't find it. I did see others there, but none so elegant as in the picture. Can you find the small ones in these pictures?

It was about 3:40 by this time, and I knew Dan would be home in a matter of twenty minutes or so, so decided to head back to the car. After all, I did make it to the first petroglyph marker. But this only whetted my interest in returning, walking the entire trail, and finding the more elaborate petroglyphs - which I will do soon, before summer comes and it's too hot to be out like that.
On my way back I took a few pictures of the scenery.

The rocks, in the escarpment, are volcanic.

Here's a large block of volcanic rock.

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