Unexpected Adventures

26 10 2011

On a random Wednesday we found ourselves asking, ‘What is there to do in Gallup, NM?’  If that place sounds familiar, it’s because it’s in that Route 66 song:

“Now you go through saint looey 
Joplin, missouri, 
And oklahoma city is mighty pretty. 
You see amarillo, 
Gallup, new mexico, 
Flagstaff, arizona. 
Don’t forget winona, 
Kingman, barstow, san bernandino.” 

That’s all the prodding we needed to head out for an adventure.  We heard about this place called Fire and Ice that was about 70 miles away which allowed you to hike up to the rim of a volcano and down into an old lava tube that was a natural ice cave and stayed 31 degrees F all year around.  So, we packed up our waters, dried apple slices, beef jerky, and of course, our camera.

About 50 miles down the road we came across El Morro National Monument.  It looked pretty impressive standing there amidst the desert brush and flatlands, especially with the bright blue sky and zig zagging jet streams as a backdrop.

At first it seemed like a drive by experience, but we found our way to the visitor’s center set back from the main road.  Turns out, this was a pretty big deal.  The Visitor’s Center was equipped with a museum, a store filled with books on the local area and a Park Ranger that handed us a trail guide, pointed us in the right direction and told us the 2 mile loop should take us about an hour to hike.

At the bottom of this sandstone cliff was a pool of water that existed solely from rain water and snow melt.  Apparently it has never gone dry and people have been stopping by this pool since before the 1600’s.   Right along the pool of water there are petroglyphs and messages etched into the sandstone.  The things these people could do with some sandstone and a knife makes me think we’ve lost the art of script.

Considering we at first thought this was nothing more than a cool thing to take photos of as we drove past it slowly, the fact that we were walking along the face of this monument and then were able to hike up 200 feet in elevation to walk along the top of it to the old ruins was pretty cool.  And with the fall colours, the dark blue sky, and the fact that we had the trail to ourselves, we couldn’t get enough of the scenery.

Needless to say, we did not finish the 2 mile hike in the recommended hour. 2 1/2 hours later, we finally made it back on the road to continue our adventure for the day.

Fire and Ice:

First we hiked up a hill of volcanic rock to see the opening of an old volcano.  Although interesting to say you are standing where a volcano erupted 10,000 years ago, there really wasn’t much to see.  It kind of felt like we had paid $10 each for a gym membership – steep incline on a slippery volcanic rock surface is a pretty good workout.

We finished up our hike by heading to the natural ice cave.  As soon as you hit the stairs down into it you can feel the temperature decreasing.

Who would think in the middle of the desert in New Mexico you would find a wall of ice.

All in all, a great day of exploring the natural landscape.  I woke up that morning thinking we were going to drive to Phoenix, AZ and instead, we ended up hiking the same paths as the Spaniards from the 1600’s, climbing a volcano and feeling a bone chilling 31 degrees in the middle of the desert.

** This post was ‘Freshly Pressed’ on November 17, 2011**

 

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112 responses

26 10 2011
mandala56

I love that part of NM. Thanks for the reminder pictures. Next time you should see La Ventana and the Sandstone Bluffs south of Grants. Great photos!!

4 11 2011
Abigail

Oh how fun is that! Gone are the days of calling cards and tasteful graffiti 🙂

Abigail

17 11 2011
livvy30

The sky is sooo blue! Amazing!

17 11 2011
Mikalee Byerman

Wow…the colors, with the autumn leaves…just WOW!

I’m glad you reminded me of where I had heard of the destination, though. I would have been racking my brain endlessly.

Instead, now I’ll just be playing Route 66 on a constant annoying loop in my head!

😉

18 11 2011
betchawannaknow

It will not stop playing in my head, also the movie cars keeps coming to mind

17 11 2011
Constance V. Walden

Wow, that rock hanging from that ledge is amazing. It looks like one little touch will send it falling. Wouldn’t want to be underneath. Connie
http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

17 11 2011
Romantic Asian Guy

Congrats on being freshly pressed! I like your writing style–easy to read, informative, to the point.

I LOVE unexpected adventures involving driving on the road and nature. It’s exciting to find scenic places and other hidden gems.

Thanks for posting those great photos with the tidbits of history infused throughout.

17 11 2011
DoF@theinfill

What a variety of experiences and sights! Thanks v much for sharing them

17 11 2011
PCC Advantage

I’m a pretty clumsy person (always falling down stairs and such), so I can’t imagine having to walk down THAT flight of stairs!! They have that “Please use handrails” sign posted for people like me, I’m sure…lol!

Beautiful photos and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

17 11 2011
Stourbridge Lion

Looks like a place to add to my list of places to go!

17 11 2011
valentinedee

So interesting. I love this. I especially loved the petroglyphics and the years that were chistled into the stone. Very fascinating. Love this stuff.

http://valentinedefrancis.blogspot.com

17 11 2011
wemeetparis

These pictures are great! I’ve never been to AZ but am becoming more and more convinced that I need to visit California’s beautiful neighbor!

17 11 2011
cravesadventure

Love your photos:) It is amazing that rocks like the one in your photo stay like that and not just shear off – mind boggling!

17 11 2011
Aileen Torres

New Mexico does have a beautiful landscape. I used to love the view of the mountains when I lived there.

17 11 2011
Spencer Courtis

wow – what lovely pics – thank God for cameras!!
would i have ever seen this? doubt it.

17 11 2011
Dounia

Really beautiful photos and the scenery is stunning. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

17 11 2011
afrankangle

First time visitor. Well done at capturing the essence of one of my fav songs!

17 11 2011
jbscanada

Nicely designed site.

Poignant, spare writing style is easy to read – love the pics. Should’a posted a volcano pic, regardless.

Cool to see ice in NM.

All in all, a great blog!

17 11 2011
photodiem

These are some awesome pics. Really well done.

17 11 2011
J.C.V.

I love the photography! Very nice

17 11 2011
Dee

Wow those shots are incredible. I love the handprints in the stone!! It’s so neat, and to think of how many people have visited there! So cool!!

17 11 2011
Oh God, My Wife Is German

Awesome pictures! Thank you for sharing! I will subscribe to your blog.

17 11 2011
saadet

According to me , this trip is very interesting for you.Really is different. Everywhere in the World ,there is interesting sceneries…Thank you for your sharing… from Turkey Saadet.

17 11 2011
Dawn

Beautiful!

17 11 2011
nearlynormalized

Ever day life is an adventure–Thank you for enjoying and sharing. If you get to Las Vegas–please go to the Red Rock Conservation Area–you will be thrilled with the hikes and what some people never see. Early morning is the best; color wise and viewing the animals.
Enjoy!!!!

17 11 2011
whenquiet

i get a cool feeling looking at these pics…

17 11 2011
I Made You A Mixtape

Wow! Amazing pics and my goodness- what a beautiful blue sky!!!!

17 11 2011
missjlw

The colours and photography is amazing, goes to show theres always an adventure to be had!

17 11 2011
allaboutgoodlife

pictures are great and interesting.

17 11 2011
pinkaydaskeo

Amazing pictures!

17 11 2011
ekhaugli

Loved the pictures of the hieroglyphics and the signatures from 1866. I recently wrote my name on a rock formation, along with thousands of others, using a rock as a writing utensil. We humans haven’t changed a bit over the centuries 😉 We have to say we’ve been here, done that.

17 11 2011
tracilee

So true!

17 11 2011
jack15324

Never been to NM. However after seeing your pics it is on the list for next year’s trip. Nice photos!

17 11 2011
tracilee

NM definitely has a lot of beauty. I recommend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October.

17 11 2011
Christine

Thankyou for showing me a part of the world I have never seen..

17 11 2011
societyred

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing!

17 11 2011
Eva McCane

ok…this is amazing. you had me at volcano. and all the other stuff is just like a big bonus. love the pictures and you’ve inspired me to maybe put this very adventure on my bucket list. thanks!
http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

17 11 2011
Anne Schilde

Oh wow! Those are stunning!

17 11 2011
refinedcolloquy

Wow, great pictures! The fall colours and the dark blue sky are beautiful. They remind me of my drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway a month or so ago. I took some great shots up there. I’ll be sure to have those posted soon!

17 11 2011
tracilee

Looking forward to seeing the photos.

17 11 2011
jakesprinter

Amazing view,awesome.

17 11 2011
JetFrogz

I would loved to have seen that ice cave! Thanks for sharing!

17 11 2011
tracilee

I’m sure it’s even more amazing now that the temperatures are dropping and they’re getting some rain. I really wanted to see huge icicles. Maybe one day I’ll make it back…

17 11 2011
bensim

cool

17 11 2011
georgeewant

Although I’ve no idea of most of the places you talk about, these pictures are fantastic and I’d love to visit these places! I’ve always wanted to visit the States – this is the reason why.

17 11 2011
Katie Michele

These are the most beautiful pictures! I love them, thank you for sharing!

17 11 2011
rastelly

From a mere armchair explorer to a
genuine article – people like you give
my life meaning – allow me to suggest
a website for rainy days. Urban
Exploration Resource – I’ve made my
personal playground – it’s great – if
you like old abandoned buildings.

17 11 2011
tracilee

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check it out.

17 11 2011
rastelly

and continue to get your kicks . . .

17 11 2011
morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

I understand what you meant when you said you couldn’t get enough of the scenery; I can;t get enough of your wonderful pictures!

Ronnie

17 11 2011
tracilee

Thanks Ronnie. We may have gone a little overboard but it sure was fun.

17 11 2011
lifeonapress

those are great pictures sir! thanks for the share 🙂

17 11 2011
Cassie Bouska

Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing . . . definitely makes me want to visit someday 🙂

17 11 2011
basangsisiw

Work of nature at its best! Love every bit of it!

17 11 2011
Sony Fugaban

I am absolutely amazed with these pictures! I would describe this place, Fire and Ice, as a portion of the MIDDLE EARTH. I feel like titans or gods and goddesses are just around — with an invisibility cloak. 🙂

17 11 2011
sahnazfebrianaputri

good 🙂

17 11 2011
DrAnthonysBlog

Terrific pictures and a great adventure! Thanks for sharing!

17 11 2011
Joan Chandler

Your photos are breathtaking! My sister just got back from her second trip out West in two years…I am so jealous. I want to go too! Thanks for sharing.

17 11 2011
Audrey

Beautiful pictures, but even more wonderful is the reward you received by going off the beaten track. I tend to err on the side of caution, not wanting to be disappointed, but sometimes I guess it’s worth the risk. Thanks for the reminder, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

17 11 2011
tracilee

Thanks Audrey. It’s true, you never know what kind of adventures are just around the corner!

17 11 2011
morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

I understand what you meant when you said you couldn’t get enough of the scenery; I can’t get enough of your wonderful pictures!

Ronnie

17 11 2011
Ron Scubadiver

Watch your step, please use handrails, is wonderful!

17 11 2011
nha dat

Thanks for posting those great photos with the tidbits of history infused throughout. Great post!

17 11 2011
Languages Of Art

Oh my goodness, that is amazing!!

17 11 2011
17 11 2011
theeyeoffaith

Amazing pictures! That is the real America! Thought u might like this one too;

http://theeyeoffaith.com/2011/11/16/pinkys-dream-david-lynch-ft-karen-o/

Best Regards!

– The Eye

http://theeyeoffaith.com

17 11 2011
NewtownLiving

Spectacular! You must love New Mexico! I had a friend who’s from NM and he was saying there was not much to do but exploring the rocks. Seems to be a lonely existence but he did add the whole town perked up with latest Indiana Jones filming there.

17 11 2011
redvelvetmartinis

Gorgeous photos! I’d love to head to NM one day.

17 11 2011
Heidi

Beautiful photos! I have always wanted to check out New Mexico, looks like a very unique place with loads of history 🙂

17 11 2011
aronsharon

lovely photos! ^^

18 11 2011
Dilip

Lovely pictures and very informative. Thanks.

18 11 2011
Moonmooring

OMGosh, lovely photos. I have been through Gallup more times than I can count and never stopped there. Now I will have to do that.

Sarah

18 11 2011
tracilee

It is a little off the beaten track, maybe 50 miles outside of Gallup, but definitely a cool detour.

18 11 2011
webideasnow

I really appreciate your efforts to blog this post, keep add more posts with more stuff. By Cinimage(http://www.cinimage.org)

18 11 2011
joahnadiyosa

Oh wow! Simply “WOW!” Seems like it was one of the best adventures you got there. Superb photos! 🙂

18 11 2011
tracilee

One of many adventures. Definitely check out the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta photos. That was an AMAZING adventure.
Thanks for stopping by Joahna.

18 11 2011
sinaisafari

Beautiful pictures, reminds me of the places nearby where I live in Egypt. There are a few on our website: http://www.sinai-safari.com. Thank you for your great post, I love deserts so much.

18 11 2011
tracilee

Thanks. I will check out your photos for sure.

18 11 2011
namitasunder

Amazing captures….the azure expanse of sky and the imposing rocks ..truly spectacular.

18 11 2011
TomDom Travel

Wow! Your photography of those landscapes is both beautiful and inspiring. You sure got your “kicks on Route 66!”

18 11 2011
thebigbookofdating

Wow what a cool location, makes me want to get up and travel if it wasn’t poring with rain out (;
Wonderful post and photos!
(:

18 11 2011
Raxa Collective

Fantastic photos…and I love the elegant graffiti! Congrats on the Fresh Pressing!

18 11 2011
London Caller

Absolutely amazing.

18 11 2011
Karen

Stunning! Nice adventure.

18 11 2011
taktgefuehle

I really love the picture with the autumn leaves and the rock!

18 11 2011
Cass

i have fear of the pic #9
this rock fly in the sky!

18 11 2011
Deborah Pelloni

OMG.. this blog is awesome…. just got in here and I’m really happy to see such a beautiful post with wonderful pics… congrats!

http://deborahpelloni.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/hakuna-matata/

Thanks for sharing!

18 11 2011
tracilee

Thanks Deborah. It’s great to share all the stories and photos of my travels.

18 11 2011
starlight

awesome photos… my favorite is the 1826 signature of a hiker? etched on the stone.. that’s brilliant!

18 11 2011
kentrollins

Great pictures, there is alot of hidden tresure in the world if you take the less traveled route

18 11 2011
Ammon

Thanks for sharing these photos of New Mexico! The entire Four Corners region of the country has some awesome views. We live in such a beautiful country–it’s a shame we don’t get out and see more of it that often.

18 11 2011
P.S.Remesh Chandran

I very much wished to be there on the road with you but unfortunately, beings oceans away I can’t. However those fine photos brought to me the mighty presence of the intricate artworks of mother nature. The petroglyphs and messages beautifully etched into the sandstone in lofty calligraphic tastes do make us wonder whatever man could do with knives and sand stone in the loneliest of places and at the same time make us regret the loss of such fine arts from society. But one thing, including the historical background of the sites would have made the articles memorable since it is a fine language that is used by the traveller-writer.

18 11 2011
Eileen黃愛玲

Love this; now that’s an adventure. Thank you for sharing your breathtaking photos. I appreciate it. 😀

18 11 2011
Gracie

Great photos! The landscape is just amazing. Thanks for sharing.
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

18 11 2011
anninblogi

Wow!

18 11 2011
countoncross

WOW……THE PICTURES ARE AMAZING!!!! Thank you for sharing!

18 11 2011
antarabesque

Beautiful. I love how blue the sky is. Thank you for these. Congrats on FP!

18 11 2011
Karl Drobnic

How far back do the ruins date? And who built them? Looks like you found an interesting hike for us.

18 11 2011
rocki

very nice and good…….

18 11 2011
NM

Beautiful Photos!! I loved the description!!! I loved it!! 😀

18 11 2011
skitalica

4th, 5th & 6th pictures are amazing!

19 11 2011
theycallthewind

Absolutely beautiful

19 11 2011
fotografii

colorful pictures, nr #4 is beautiful, but all are amazing! good work!

20 11 2011
vikas sharma

Amazing place and pictures!!

20 11 2011
gaycarboys

fabulous. I’m not at all sure about that bridge thingie though. It looked decidedly Raiders of the Lot Ark to me. I loved the ice shot though

20 11 2011
LELASURAMADU LOVES CATFISH

Watch Your Step . . . . Walk there so dangerous …..

21 11 2011
Sharvil

wow seriously fabulous! i love it ❤

23 11 2011
TheChronicR

Oh my. I love those photos you have there. Especially that of the rocks. Ice in New Mexico?! That is insane. Magnificent shots and a very great post therefore.

28 11 2011
creativewritingforkids

Outstanding photos!

28 11 2011
trialsinfood

pretty cool! great photos!

28 11 2011
BazzaH

great pictures!

9 01 2012
younas

nice image>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!
http://www.omnibazar.com/

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