Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Mexico is a show-off.

"Can we just move in here?"

Our time in New Mexico is almost at an end, but everything we've seen so far has been impressive. We woke up yesterday morning and headed to our campsite in Albuquerque, set up camp, and got geared up to hike. Albuquerque's elevation is 5,312 feet above sea level (that's 31 feet higher than Denver...take that, Colorado!) so we opted for a leisurely hike to get us acclimated to the elevation.

We hiked along the Rinconada Canyon in the Petroglyph National Monument. Petroglyphs are drawings carved in the volcanic rocks by ancient natives, usually depicting animals, gods, and other native-y things. Some of them looked pretty ridiculous.

After hiking we grabbed some delicious supplies (from what we suspect is the only Super Wal-Mart with a terra cotta roof) and headed back to camp to cook up burgers and veggies.

Around 9pm, the winds started up - we were camping by the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, and the winds coming over the peaks can get pretty vicious. We turned in around 11, and noticed that the wind was flapping our tent a little bit. Three hours later, the winds had kicked up to 15-20mph (thank you, and our tent sounded like a jet engine. For our own sanity (and safety) we spent the night in a hotel, which was good, because we needed our energy for today.

After a hearty lunch, we headed north to the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. It's a vast park located in the middle of the Cochiti Pueblo, a Native American tribal city. The people of the Pueblo allow visitors onto their land to visit Kasha-Katuwe, but they forbid visitors from taking pictures or drawing sketches of anything on their land. Luckily, the U.S. Government made Kasha-Katuwe a National Monument in 2001 (thank you, Bill Clinton), so once we got into the park, we were allowed to take pictures.

This tree was in the middle of walking away when we took the picture.

A slot canyon on the hike up to the peak.

Tent rocks...

More tent rocks...

A cactus near the peak

The view from the peak

We left Kasha-Katuwe and continued to head north to Santa Fe (tumbleweeds and whatnot). Santa Fe is a beautiful town - lots of adobe buildings, lots of churches, and LOTS of tourists. We had a delicious dinner at Rooftop Cantina - Emily had the Navajo taco and Adam had the chicken enchilada... we split the guacamole :)

After dinner we took a walk through Santa Fe and enjoyed another New Mexico sunset (they never get old). We walked down to the old church in the heart of town (the Saint Francis Cathedral) which looked great lit up at night.

The side streets of Santa Fe

Sunset over Santa Fe

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

We are now relaxing in our room in Grants, New Mexico. We had a tough time finding a room because there was a big rodeo in nearby Gallup, NM, and the hotels of Grants were getting all the overflow. A rodeo filled up hotels in TWO towns. Gotta love the Southwest.


  1. Your pictures are fabulous, your stories are fun, but I am getting much time do you spend driving each day? My husband wants to know... about how many miles you are covering each day? You can guess this relates to our future travel plans. Have fun , stay safe and keep us "posted"...:)

  2. Love these pics!! I went to a rodeo in Gallup. That was during my I-love-horses-and-want-to-be-a-professional-barrel-racer phase.