Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 8 Western New Mexico

We spent Saturday touring from Gallup, NM. We drove south to Zuni and toured the reservation. Hidden Southwest described a drive to old Zuni ruins on a dirt road out of the village so we tried to find the ruins. We drove around for about an hour without success but that doesn't mean we didn't have fun. Pictures cannot be taken on the reservation so no photos.

Continuing east on Hwy 53, we came to El Morro National Monument. This is a waterhole at the base of a sandstone bluff that was visited by passers-by for centuries, some of whom inscribed their names in the rock.

Some of the earliest petroglyphs are 700 to 1000 years old.

Then there are inscriptions from Spanish conquering officials. Don Juan de Onate established the first Spanish colony in what is now New Mexico. On the 16th of April 1605, his name was engraved in the sandstone. William Shakespeare was still alive and Elizabeth I had been dead for 2 years. To see these inscriptions provides such a connection to the past and the people of the past. I know that the Spanish were here long before the English were on the east coast but it always seems surprising to see the actual evidence.

We planned to go to El Malpais National Monument and the Ice Cave but the time was getting late so we will have to save that for the next trip.PRM

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