|a drawing or carving on rock, esp a prehistoric one|
|[C19: via French from Greek petra stone + gluphē carving]|
The hike is strenuous at times. Take some water and sunscreen with you. You are out on the mesas and it is not always an easy climb to view and photograph the petroglyphs up close.
There are over 24,000 petroglyphs recorded. If you go to the visitor's center, they will give you a map of the most popular ones and you can hunt them out yourself.
Most of the glyphs were made by the Navajo, the Pueblo, and the Apache people 300 to 700 years ago. Others were created by Spanish settlers 200 to 300 years ago. The meaning of some has been lost, but many still hold spiritual significance to the modern tribes in the area.
Most are easily identifiable as plants, animals, and people, but some are not. They are not always easy to photograph either. It depends on the weather and the time of day, as I soon found out on my hike.
These are a few of the petroglyphs I photographed:
As I was leaving after my first visit, a wicked thunderstorm brewed on the mesa and high winds kicked up the sand from the scrub lands. The air crackled with electricity as we rushed down the mesa to our car just before the rain came pouring down -- very dramatic!
The petroglyphs and the mesas are two of the things I miss most about living in Albuquerque. I had a national treasure literally in my own backyard. The park was a short drive from home and we used to hike with our pet lizards quite frequently. There are many pictures of my husband, myself, and our two bearded dragons in tourist photo albums somewhere. New Mexico is truly The Land of Enchantment!
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!