Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 6 Petroglyphs to Capulin Volcano, NM

Petroglyphs is an urban park right on the edge of Albuquerque,NM.
We were much impressed with the Southwest Architecture of the Visitor Center as well as all of Albuquerque.
We stopped to get our NPS stamps & post cards and then headed northeast thru New Mexico.

Pecos Historical Park spans a wide range of history

Indian settlement from about 2,000 years ago, Spanish conquistadors from the early 1500's,
Americans since the opening of the Sante Fe Trail and a Civil War Battlefield. The entrance to the visitor center.

The location was ideal for trade between the Plains Indians and the Pueblo Indians of the southwest. Buffalo meat & hides were traded for corn, squash, baskets & bowls.

When the Spanish conquistadors came, they brought the priests to "civilize" the Indians and make them good Catholics.
They built the Mission right in the middle of the pueblo.
Behind the circular kiva, NPS workers were rebuilding sections of the walls with traditional adobe bricks & mortar.
The ranger/archeologist said they were using some of the original 100's of year old adobe bricks that were on the site.

This was one of 2 kivas that were excavated and restored.
Fort Union was one of the 1st US Army forts in the southwest after the the Mexican War.
It guarded the Santa Fe trail and served as a supply depot for the other forts in the southwest.

The Army abandoned the post in the 1880's after the Indian Wars ended.

The buildings were adobe and have been stabilized to prevent further collapse.

This is all that remains of the officers quarters- chimneys & a few walls
At a number of places we could see the ruts of the Santa Fe Trail along the perimeter of the fort.

Capulin Volcano is in northeastern NM and is the classic cinder cone.
The drive to the top was precarious- 20mph, no guard rails and looking straight down @ 1500 ft. Wanda was really in a panic since she was on the outside on the way up. She took this on the way down.

We only had a short time to get our stamps, postcards & drive to the top before the Park closed,
so we did not hike up to the top of the crater rim for the 100 mile view of 5 states.

We had a great view of about 50 miles and of the other 5 volcanoes in the Capulin-Raton volcanic field.

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