Greetings from Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Two weeks ago, I attended a Department of Labor conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I’ve driven through northeastern New Mexico many times on my trips home to Texas from when I was stationed at Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, Montana.  And Brian and I spent a long weekend in Santa Fe at the opera several years ago.  But this was my first trip to Albuquerque.

I went out a day early so I could get some sightseeing and hiking in.  I started the day at Petroglyph National Monument, which offers several desert hikes.  I began with the Rinconada Canyon Trail hike.  It’s a fascinating mixture of desert landscapes, ancient lava fields, and Native American petroglyph carvings.  There were lots of small finch-like birds in little colonies among the rocks.  And I actually saw a tarantula, but it hid before I could get a photo.

Lava Field - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Lava Field – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Asters - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Asters – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Petroglyphs - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Petroglyphs – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Desert Wild Flower - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Desert Wild Flower – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Shamanic Petroglyph - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Shamanic Petroglyph – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015

This one is very interesting.  It was carved on an angle of the rock to give the face a 3-D effect.

3-D Petroglyph - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
3-D Petroglyph – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Lava Rocks - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Lava Rocks – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Fantastical Figures - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Fantastical Figures – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015

After I finished at Rinconada Canyon Trail, I did the 5-mile hike at Three Sisters Volcanoes, also in Petroglyph National Monument.

JA Volcano - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
JA Volcano – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
'Starfish' Cactus - JA Volcano - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
‘Starfish’ Cactus – JA Volcano – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Vulcan Volcano - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Vulcan Volcano – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains, from Black Volcano – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
Black Volcano Caldera - Petroglyph National Monument - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Black Volcano Caldera – Petroglyph National Monument – Albuquerque NM – October 2015
New Mexico Vista - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
New Mexico Vista from Vulcan Volcano – Albuquerque NM – October 2015

After the Sisters, I changed terrains completely and hiked the “Five Hills of Death” trail in Tijeras, about 20 miles east of Albuquerque.  Isn’t that awesome?!?  How could one not want to hike something called the Five Hills of Death?  Luckily, I lived to tell the tale…

Fall Foliage - Five Hills of Death - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Fall Foliage – Five Hills of Death – Tijeras NM – October 2015
Five Hills of Death - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Five Hills of Death – Tijeras NM – October 2015
Trail - Five Hills of Death - Albuquerque NM - October 2015
Trail – Five Hills of Death – Tijeras NM – October 2015

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