20 July 2008

"Paso por aqui!!"

It has been awhile since I took a road trip so I decided to head west. In Albuquerque it was cloudy, hot and humid. The monsoons are in full force and by four pm the clouds are sure to build up as they have all week. The Rio Grande sure looked pretty though.

It was a good day to be out on your...chopper??

The weather quickly changed as I got out of town. Dark clouds loomed overhead.

As the rain clouds opened up so did the beautiful vistas.

My destination was El Morro aka Inscription Rock. To get there you take I-40 west to Exit 81 and 53 south. Follow the signs.

This one was NOT very comforting.

Nor was the dirt road leading directly to the large black clouds over-head. Can you say 'wash-out' or 'flash flood' or 'rivers of muck'. I was worried about them all.

My worries quickly vanished as this is New Mexico and weather changes every five minutes. The sky opened up to overcast. Kept the heat at bay which was cool.

El Morro. An oasis in the desert to the Pueblo Indians, the Conquistadors and the US Cavalry.

Wouldn't ya know it. I spoke too soon. No sooner had I parked when the clouds re-appeared.

This time they parked right over El Morro. As I walked up to the visitors center the Park Ranger was outside looking at the ominous cloud and says "this doesn't look good."

The park ranger suggested that I do not venture to the top but just take the bottom trail.

You could hear lightning and thunder as we spoke. I did not want to become another statistic as New Mexico has enough people being struck by lightning. I heeded her warning and just roamed around the bottom trails.

Okay...not for very long -- these stairs were pleading for me to climb them.
Within a few minutes the skies parted again and it cleared up. [Granted lightning can travel for two miles -- I took the chance.]

Keep in mind these stairs are VERY steep in parts and I do not recommend the climb if you are not in shape. Ok climb very slowly and you should be ok. Also, make sure you have water even on cloudy days. Be a safe hiker not a dumb one. This climb will be worth the view, believe me!!!

Oh the view. God's country for sure. Just think...the Zuni Indians saw this view as did the Conquistadors and members of the US Cavalry. Now me. And now, you.

At the top of the trail are the Atsinna ruins, left by Zuni inhabitants who moved on as towns rose up in near by areas.

El Morro is also known as Inscription Rock because over the centuries Pueblo Indians, Conquistadors, the US Calvary and other travelers have left their mark on its face.

The most famous would be that of Don Juan Onate, the first governor of New Spain. He left his mark on April 16, 1605. He would start off with "Paso por aqui" or "passed/stepped by here".

"Paso por aquĆ­, 20 de julio de 2008 "

I'm out.


Anonymous said...

Mick!!!Paso por aqui Miguel...
El 23 de Julio del 2008

MICK said...

Hola, Miguel.