|sunrise view from our campsite|
|formations on top of the mesa|
|Markings from both 17th century Spanish Conquistadors and 12th Century pueblo peoples|
|stairs carved into the sandstone|
|nature is amazing.|
|takes will power.|
|Atsinna Pueblo ruins atop the mesa, the "desert's rooftop"|
We don't always have time to travel too far from home, but we managed a 4-hour drive to El Morro National Monument. Out in a desert of scrub brush and ancient pinon trees, with majestic sandstone cliffs jutting into the sky and towering above. Along the cliff walls are centuries of petroglyphs combined with inscriptions of the Spanish conquistadors (stopping along the way to conquer the Zuni) and early American travelers (wagon trains and military). Then a climb to the top of the mesa, you find ruins of the Ancient ones, who lived high above the world and nestled into amazing rounded sandstone nooks & crannies. We camped nearby in a peaceful, tree-shady spot, and listened to the wind in the trees all night.