Thursday, October 27, 2011

El Morro

Inscription at El Morro
 El Morro National Monument, previously called Inscription Rock, is one of those places I always meant to visit and never got around to until this last vacation. It actually was not on our list but as it was very close to my sister's house we fit it in on a down afternoon after doing the laundry. It had a couple things going for it besides close; One it was dog friendly, and two was very photogenic.

Oasis that was major draw of pioneers
Closeup of pool that is sheltered by the cliffs
There is a half mile self-guided trail that takes you around the base of Inscription Rock and points out all the significant inscriptions and gives a brief history of the lives of some of the "graffiti artists" after they left their mark. Frankly I found that very interesting but was frankly amazed that they carved rock in old world script. We have to get back to teaching penmanship in schools.

Beyond the easy trail is another mile and half trail that leads to the back of the cliffs and ultimately to the top. The Mesa-top Trail at El Morro National Monument was hand-carved into the sandstone by a Civil Works Administration (CWA) crew in 1933. CWA was one of the New Deal programs initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

Rounding the point

Looking back on the switchback trail

Taking a breather at the top
This trip was about exercise and photography but also about educating the pups to be good on leashes over difficult terrain and lots of steps, and patient while mistresses took pictures. They were stars.

And so were the shadow people
At the top new vistas
Nobody mentioned these views

One of the reasons beyond the perpetual pool at its base that inscription rock became so popular is that it was visible for miles across the open mesas. I would like to revisit this national monument and explore other trails in the boundaries.

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