Thursday, February 18, 2016

La Cienguilla Petroglyph Site

 Andrea, Seamus, Nessie and I started out for this hike on Valentine's Day morning(2/14/16). I had read about this site located near the confluence of the Santa Fe River and the Calabasas Arroyo on the BLM Taos Field Office website just a few days before while looking for some lower elevation(and hopefully snow free) hikes near Santa Fe. Getting there was easy enough. We used 599, then headed west on Airport Road which turned into Paseo Real which took us to the parking area.
 It was cloudy, windy and just a little bit cold as we started walking, following little wooden posts with painted arrows pointing the way. At first we just followed the fence line, but eventually were directed up to the basalt cliffs, from which point we were on our own as far as following an actual trail.
Climbing up and down, around and through the boulders and junipers, just going where others had left footprints,we found hundreds and hundreds of images pecked into the gray and black rock. Many were types that I had seen before down in southern New Mexico,leading me to believe that cultural contact was prevalent throughout the entire Rio Grande corridor, but others were strikingly different.
The sun eventually emerged to warm our bones, and the wind calmed for the most part, as we continued to enjoy each new  pocket of art. The images are by no means continuous along the base of the low cliffs, so persevere if you want to see more of what this site has to offer.
 More people began to arrive as the morning wore on, but it was by no means crowded, which struck me  as odd given the site's proximity and ease of access to Santa Fe, and the abundance of wonderful rock art.
We took what seemed to be the first  opportunity since we began to  make our way down very steeply on a use path that presented itself to us. Back on the valley floor, I could see we were almost to the private property boundary as well. We made our way back to the truck along the fence, and left the northern section of trail, and the mesa top for another trip.


R. Sherman said...

To what culture are these attributed?

devon said...

Keresan speaking pueblo people- ancestors of nearby present day Pueblos.