Friday, March 4, 2016
On our last day in New Mexico we were up and out of the hotel early so we could try to squeeze in a little more sightseeing before catching our afternoon flight out of Albuquerque. We had breakfast in Santa Fe and walked down to the artisan market at the Palace of the Governors and to the cathedral one more time before hitting the road south to Petroglyph National Monument. We couldn't resist the opportunity to visit one more National Park Service landmark!
Petroglyph National Monument protects an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo people and early Spanish settlers. (And unfortunately some modern graffiti, too.) We stopped in the visitors' center to ask for a recommendation for a quick hike since we had limited time. We ended up checking out the petroglyphs along the Boca Negra Canyon trail. We saw carvings of animals, plants, people, and symbols. Archaeologists do not fully understand or agree on the meaning or purpose of the petroglyphs.
Petroglyph National Monument is a weird place. From the high point on the trail, you are granted a panoramic view of...sprawling suburban Albuquerque. Ugh.
In fact, the City of Albuquerque built a highway directly through the site, which evidently destroyed many petroglyphs. So disappointing.
It certainly wasn't the type of park you go visit to get away from it all, but it was an interesting stop on the way to the airport. And my favorite petroglyph was this one, which reminded me of an egg beater:
Turns out it's a yucca!
And with that, we hopped on a plane and flew back to Virginia - our last trip of 2014 was over and it was time to settle back into life at home for the next few months.