Everyday adventures

From Petroglyphs to Ice Caves—the Enchanted Meander* Begins

April 24, 2017

Installment two of the great Arizona/New Mexico Road Trip...

Let me tell you a little secret about traveling with my friend Kerri. You’d better be ready to GO. She packs more into a day than almost anyone I know. I’m grateful for this, because I’m a bit of a slug by nature. Each day of our trip was chock full of seeing the sights, driving, talking, eating, listening to music or podcasts, hunting that perfect photo, and exploring anything that caught our interest. Last week, I skipped ahead in our trip to write about Antelope Canyon, but now I’m backtracking to our first day’s adventures: 

Petroglyph National Monument is just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it was our first stop on the trip. After checking in at the visitor’s center for advice on where to go if we didn’t have much time, we settled on Boca Negra Canyon. It was a beautiful morning, with cobalt blue skies and cool temperatures. A few minutes easy walk brought us into an area of tumbled volcanic rock, and the petroglyphs were easily spotted on the dark surfaces. These markings were created by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers approximately 400-700 years ago. This area is considered a sacred landscape by the American Indians, according to the Park Service brochure.

We also caught glimpses of the wildlife of the area—rabbits, quail, lizards, and what might have been ground squirrels or prairie dogs—they were too fast and too far away to tell.

 Our next stop was a roadside attraction we stumbled upon:

Located in a collapsed lava tube, the ice on the floor is approximately 20 feet deep. The deepest ice dates back to 1100 AD. Arctic algae causes the ice’s green tint.

We finished off the day sunset gazing on the way to Cottonwood, Arizona:

Where we stayed at the delightful Iron Horse Inn.

In our next installment, our intrepid travelers discover perhaps the world’s most delicious breakfasts, cliff dwellings, and even more stunning rock formations.

*Kerri dubbed her Facebook photo album for our trip “An Enchanted Meander”—and I’m shamelessly appropriating the name.