A Very Windy Day

Sunday May 26th 2019

The temperature got down into the low sixties overnight. It made for comfortable sleeping. This morning it was a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky. It was also a very still day. There wasn’t a breeze blowing. Around quarter to ten everything changed. As if a switch was thrown a strong wind started to blow and became the theme for the day.

Cactus blossom.

The wind strength and the gusts continued to increase throughout the morning and the first part of the afternoon. Midway through the afternoon clouds started to move in slowly from the west. Once they arrived the temperature dropped, some rain fell and the wind managed to crank up its velocity a notch or two. My RV home was actually rocking a little in the wind. The wind driven rain didn’t last long and the wind actually let up some, but once the sun returned an hour or so later the wind was back. As the wind front moved east it re-enforced a line of storms in the eastern part of New Mexico. Several tornadoes were spotted in the northeastern part of the state.

Wildflower blossom of the day.

I started my touring today in Old Town Albuquerque. It is the site of the original settlement. Many old Pueblo style buildings are filled with stores, restaurants and entertainment. I liked seeing the buildings, but the rest was not my thing. At least I didn’t see any modern day franchise s in the historic area. Starbucks was a few blocks away.

Trail into Rinconada Canyon. The petroglyphs are at the far end.
The sides of the canyon are lined with volcanic boulders. The petroglyphs are etched onto the boulders.
Looking back toward the mouth of the canyon from the back wall.

The second activity on today’s agenda was a hike in the Petroglyphs National Monument. I took the Rinconada Canyon hike. It’s a little over two mile hike to the end of the canyon and back. Most of the petroglyphs are on the volcanic rock at the far end of the canyon. The trail is over loose gravel and sand through the desert landscape. I enjoyed the hike, but beyond the proof that people were here long before I was, the petroglyphs weren’t that interesting. They are often hard to identify and unlike other petroglyphs I’ve seen they don’t seem to be indented to convey complex thoughts. The wind was picking up as I finished the hike.

Two petroglyphs on a boulder.
These two petroglyphs are thought to be from a different era. They were probably left by Spanish Explorers.

In this area Interstate 40 was built on the old route 66 corridor. On the way back to my RV home I stopped at a relic of that era. The Rio Puerco Bridge is near the RV park. It was built in 1933 and ultimately replaced in 1999 long after the Interstate route had bypassed it. Considering the amount of traffic through this area now, it is hard to envision a time that the narrow bridge would serve the traffic heading west. The span is barely wide enough to allow two way traffic.

Rio Puerco Bridge

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