18 degrees is just too cold! That's what the temperature was overnight. It seems the wind we had the other day blew in some arctic air! I'm so grateful that Wild Thing is well-insulated. I opted for the additional blown insulation applied to the bottom of the camper as well as the thermal windows when I had her built and those additions sure help to keep the chill out. Thanks to my friends Charlie and Lucy, I'm using a little electric ceramic heater that keeps the camper toasty warm even in these cold temperatures. The propane furnace works well too, but since I have electrical hookups it's more economical to use the electric heater. After checking the weather report and seeing that it would warm up to 50 degrees today, I decided to make the drive to the small town of Three Rivers and visit the Petroglyph site there. This site boasts having documented over 21,000 petroglyphs, so how could I resist! Dexter and I were on the road about 9 and the two hour drive took us up and over the Organ Mountains north of Las Cruces, across the flats by White Sands National Monument and the Missile Range, Halloran Air Force Base, through Alamogordo, and up to the small town of Three Rivers. We made a brief stop at a tourist shop just before the site to stretch our legs after the two-hour drive. I made no purchases but it was fun to look around!
When I arrived at the site, I was dismayed to find the gate to the parking lot closed and a sign posted indicating the park was closed. After arguing with myself for a few minutes, I finally decided to park the truck outside the gate and walk in to see what I could find. I figured the worst that could happen is that I would be asked to leave. It was a short walk to the parking area and the Visitor Center which was of course closed, as were the restrooms, but I could see the trail leading up to the Petroglyph site and that's all I really needed. There was a RV there as camp host but no one stirred is I wandered by. It was a short, easy, half mile hike up to the outcropping of rocks where the inscriptions stood out in stark relief on the rocks. Everywhere you looked, there was a rock that had been inscribed with a petroglyph. It was a beautiful, and moving thing to see. As I wandered around looking at these beautiful etchings I tried to imagine the hands that created them and what they might have meant to the artists.
I found a wonderful article on the Mogollon Petroglyphs here that offered some insight.
I took many pictures with the Nikon and will share them once they're downloaded and processed. I have included a few I took with my cell phone camera below. Be sure to zoom in and look closely at all the rocks in the picture. There are often multiple petroglyphs in each scene.
Before too long more folks wandered up to the site and I struck up a conversation with Karen, a fellow rule-breaker-renegade type who said she saw me stop and enter the site so they figured it would be okay if they came up too! I'm such an instigator! Karen was lovely and offered me several suggestions of other places I might find interesting to visit in New Mexico. This is such a rich state in natural beauty! I'm looking forward to the warmer weather when I can spend some time exploring the northern part of the state. Thank you Karen, for all of your wonderful suggestions. It was lovely to meet you!
On the way home, I couldn't resist stopping at Mcginn's Pistachioland just outside of Alamogordo To see the World's Largest Pistachio and sample their harvest.
It was a fun and delicious stop! They had pistachios that have been roasted and flavored with chili's, as well as other interesting flavors like lemon and lime, ranch, and barbecue! A free tasting bar allowed you to sample the various flavors before you made a purchase. They also offered a large selection of local salsas, hot sauce, pickles, beef jerky, wine, and honey.
It was well worth the stop!
Dexter and I are tired but happy tonight it was a fun and exciting day. To top it off, there was another breathtaking sunset this evening as we arrived back at the campsite. We took in the magical sight while listening to the coyotes sing their evening song. Heaven on earth!
I've included a little video I shot with the cell phone. It's pretty shaky because his majesty was tugging on his lead, but you can really hear the coyotes singing if you turn up the sound. I could see them across the draw, their heads flung back as they sang their beautiful song to the setting sun.