The elevation in Albuquerque is 5,000 feet above sea level, and even though I wasn't totally exerting myself, I was getting a little out of breath. I was in Albuquerque for a client meeting, and one of the guys in the meeting said (a little snippy, I might add), that "Denver always gets the credit for being the 'mile high city', but Albuquerque is a mile above sea level also!"
When I got to the park, it was deathly still. The silence was palpable, eerie, yet serene all at once. The sun beat relentlessly on the sand and the rocks of the canyon. Albuqurque is nestled in the Rio Grande Valley. If you look west, you see high desert, quite and still. If you look to the east, you see the magnificent Sandia Mountains rising well above 10,000 feet, covered in white snow that glistened in the bright desert sun. It really and truly was a beautiful sight to behold.
The petroglyphs, while a little anti-climatic, were pretty neat. Most of them were carved by the Pueblo people, and most have spiritual meanings behind them. I don't think anyone knows exactly how old they are. Most were of spirits, human faces, serpents, and what I felt were random geometric shapes, but I'm sure it had some sort of spiritual significance, worshiping the sun, or moon, or whatever. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of graffiti. Isn't that sad? Yes, there was "Steve was here" and random initials. Over one particularly intricate petroglyph, someone had scratched many times so that it looked like at least a dozen thin lines etched over the ancient rock drawings.
Here's some photos of the Rinconada Canyon that I hiked in. And yes, I tried to be artsy with the first one!
Here's some of the pictures of the petroglyph's that I took. Apparently I didn't get into the heart of the park where the really good ones are. The last picture is courtesy of Wikipedia under Petroglyph National Monument
Ok, I know I got off topic, so I will end by saying even on business trip, I managed to get my 30 in! What was the first rule? NO EXCUSES!! Tomorrow's going to be a bit of a challenge. I'm flying back to Virginia tomorrow, and it's looking a little dicey because of the weather. If my plane gets diverted and I'm stuck on a tarmac for hours, I'm not sure what I'll do, but I will manage, after all, no excuses right? Although, I am tempted to say that sitting on a tarmac count where it's physically impossible to get up is pretty darn good as far as excuses go.