Monday, June 14, 2010

DAY 6 June 14th Monday

Coletta's van had a mishap with a rock. Never fear, Coletta is the Duct Tape Queen!

See what else that duct tape can be used for!

First stop
Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert today as well as some Petroglyphs and Ruins

The Puerco Indian Ruin was inhabited during the 1100's and again during the 1300's. It is one of more than 300 Indian ruins in the park. This area supported a small farming community of perhaps 60-75 inhabitants, possible due of its proximity to the then-flowing Puerco River. Below are the remains of a 76 room pueblo, some of whose buildings may have stood two stories high. These walls are formed by slabs of sandstone laid in adobe mortar. Interestingly, the ruin was first excavated by John Muir, more often known as a naturalist than an archaeologist, in 1905 and 1906.

More detail of these petroglyphs can be seen in the picture below. Most striking is the large wading bird--an avocet, perhaps--pictured just to the left of center. It is not known whether the artist depicted a frog, or a person, in the bird's mouth.

The petroglyphs are so amazing! And there are so many of them!

And the petrified forest was something to behold! There are so many trees laying around. In the 1800s they hauled them out by the wagon and train load to sell them to collectors in the east. The whole valley floor was covered with them. The colors in them are amazing. You can see where the bark is, the sap, the rings. The earth has changed since then so the same type of trees no longer would grow here so your mind has to wrap around the time involved in all this.

After our drive through the Painted Desert, Mary, Travis, Jeannie and Danny had to leave us on their trip home. We were sorry to see them leave, they made the first part of our trip so much fun! And we were glad they had enjoyed themselves!

And we headed off to Bernalillo, NM KOA Campground where we had a cabin reserved.

Bernalillo KOA was a very nice place to stay and the hosts were very helpful and friendly. The mountains across the way were spectacular as the sun went down!

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