Petroglyphs in Albuquerque – Photos Posted

I visited Albuquerque for one reason – petroglyphs. Travelling North America by public transit and sans car, I quickly discovered that most ancient petroglyphs and civilization ruins lie far from any bus stops or easy-access hiking trails. Hitch-hiking was out – a woman travelling alone? That would b asking for trouble.

So I hopped the Railrunner connection from Santa Fe to Albuquerque.

Petroglyph National Monument brushes right up against the west suburbs of the city, which has sprawled as far west as it can. I started my hike from a bright green oasis of park, a tiny square of grass and playground between cookie-cutter suburban houses. Within 5 minutes I was treading sandy dirt and surrounded by undulating hill of black volcanic rock and silver-green tufts of brush, huge jackrabbits darting away from my presence in the simmering noon heat. (Note to self: even in spring, noon is the worst time to start a short desert hike.) Guzzling water and shading my eyes from the sun, I peered at chalk-like traces of images, some a forest of hand-prints, others what looked startlingly like a spaceship in the stars. Faces, animals, abstract symbols. All scraped onto black rock tumbled about the gullies of the high desert. Sinister volcanic cones loomed in the distance. Only a 10 minute walk from the city suburbs and the local bus line.

Albuquerque holds other secrets within its mishmash of rough-and-tumble city and perfectionist suburbia. A minor league baseball team named after The Simpson’s Isotopes. A university district vibrating with student life, cafes, and a fascinating little archaeology museum. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, hosting exhibits of both historical and current relevance to the lives of the 19 surrounding Indian Puebloan communities.

To view my photo slide show, click on the link: Albuquerque, May 2015

Visiting Albuquerque without a car is easy: Amtrak calls daily into the city center from both Los Angeles and Chicago, while the commuter Railrunner line connects with Santa Fe. Local bus lines trace the city to all the major sites of interest.

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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