We left White Sands and headed back North. Along the way, we stopped at the Three Rivers Petroglyphs site. There are thousands of prehistoric scrapings in the stones depicting people, animals, and some really cool geometric symbols.
The bulk of the petroglyphs are up on a hill, and all around there are beautiful, hundred-mile views! It was early evening, and it had started cooling off a little. It may have been down to a hundred degrees! Up on the hill, we were getting a nice breeze. The only thing was, those dark rocks had spent the day soaking up the blazing New Mexican sun, and now they were releasing it back into the air. We could feel the heat coming off the rocks, like coals!
On our way out of Three Rivers, we got caught at a two-tracked railroad crossing by a very long, slow moving train. After several hot minutes, the train was gone, and so were we.
We drove to Carrizozo and caught highway 380 again. We had gotten off 380 back in Lincoln County.
Traversing New Mexico from east to west is a gorgeous trip. The scenery can change so suddenly. People tend to think of New Mexico as flat and boring, but not so! As you drive over the crests, the land goes from brushy rolling hills to rocky juniper-spotted ridges. When you’re between mountain ranges, it’s flat with yuccas and sage carpeting the desert floor. As you climb the next mountain range, you find tall ponderosa forests. Down in the next valley, there may be stands of cottonwood and grass, or dirt and clay. The whole time, there are distant mountains and huge sky!
In San Antonio, NM we got onto Interstate 25. From there it was a straight shot to Albuquerque, and my dear, beloved aunt! We crossed the Rio Grande just outside of Albuquerque as the sun went down. After about twelve hours of hot driving and sight-seeing, we sat down, exhausted, to a Mexican meal with my Aunt and Uncle.
This had been an utterly fantastic day!