Set in stone.

We had big plans for a weekend trip together, my mom, my sister, and I.  A trip to Vegas…or hitting the open road with the wind in our hair, en route to the Grand Canyon.  A trip to Nashville, perhaps.  Or DC!  There was no shortage of ideas.  But there was a shortage of time.  Between mom’s retirement from teaching, full-time obligations on the family farm/ranch, and her various part-time work endeavors, her plate is pretty full.  And Lisa – Lisa just began a new job.  Her first “grown-up” job, post-Masters.  A full weekend long trip was just not in the cards this year.

We made do though.  A short drive across the river toward city limits brought us to the Petroglyph National Monument, part of the US National Park Service.  One of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, it is home to over 1000 designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers.  Paying heed to cultural and spiritual beliefs, the petroglyphs range in age from 400 to 700 years.

Our adventure began at the visitor’s center, where we were lucky enough to stumble onto some astrological group that was there with telescopes and other nifty sun-gazing equipment and tools.  The people were very nice and we got to stare at the sun, yo.  It was a stormy day and that means that there were a lot of ions so the sun looked fuzzy on the edges. (Technical terms – obviously I know a lot about astro-stuff.)

Lisa telescope

We picked up a brochure and browsed the gift shop in the visitor’s center, signing the visitor’s log to add ourselves to Petroglyph Monument history.  Then we drove a couple of miles to one of the petroglyph sites.


Mom and Lisa

Petroglyphs 2

Amy petroglyphs

Petroglyphs 1

We laughed and chatted our way up the hill, deciphering the ancient work as we went.  It was a warm day and those lava rocks hold the heat, so we were relieved to reach the top and catch a nice breeze with the view.

View from top of petroglyphs

Ahh, the desert.  It’s brown and dry and hot.  But the blue skies are endless and the history is rich.  And I have more good hair days than bad (#Godblesslowhumidity).

We made our way down the hill, taking a few side trails and even losing the trail once or twice.  I had some water (lukewarm, but still refreshing) in the car and we set off on the next adventure (a fabric store – mom’s happy place).  It was a nice local excursion to a place steeped with lava rock and history.  And with two of my favorite people.  They kept me laughing – those are good folks to call your own.

Do you enjoy being a tourist in your own town?  Have you ever visited petroglyph site? 


14 thoughts on “Set in stone.

  1. I think it’s SO much fun to be a tourist in my own town, but I don’t do it enough! Example… There is a quaint, delicious café just a mile from my house, and I’ve only eaten there once! My goal is to walk there for breakfast sometime soon with Nate!! (Maybe once the leaves officially start falling). :)
    I love that you took advantage of the weekend anyway and that it turned out so fun!

  2. Wow, that must have been such a cool experience! I love being a tourist in my own town, especially with family. It’s just the best!

    I tell Jimmy like every day how much I want to go to “the desert” (aka Arizona, NM, etc!) because I think it’s just so cool and super different from where I live! And the low humidity… totally jealous of that!

  3. That sounds so much fun! Hiking+history+girl time all wrapped into one = best times. Being a tourist in your own town is awesome, because you get to do or see something new but can still sleep in your own bed :-)

  4. Yay for the desert photos! I almost thought your sister was you, and then I saw the yellow pants and said, “THERE she is!” :-) There is nothing near as ancient-looking as a petroglyph here in East Tennessee…how cool is it that you can find something like that on a quick little day trip?!

    • I almost thought your sister was you too at first glance! You guys definitely favor each other! How fun that you guys got to go and be tourists in your own town! I love to do that! And this looks like such a neat spot. And I’m a just a tad jealous of your low-humidity weather. But I guess if you live in the desert you deserve it! :)

  5. This is inspiring to me. My sister is graduating this year, and I’m trying to plan something fun for the girls to do just for the weekend. I’d love to go somewhere “big,” but I don’t know if it will happen. Need to find something fun to do local!

  6. Pingback: 30 by 30 – Third quarter update. | A Desert Girl

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