Petroglyphs National Monument
From Gallup, Albuquerque is just little more than a two hour drive. Perfect for arriving at the Petroglyph National Monument for a quick lunch and then a walk on one of the four trails. Three of the trails allow you to walk among the petroglyphs, the other is through a lava field. We chose the Rinconada Canyon Trail — about 2.5 miles of packed and loose sand. There are a lot of petroglyphs — 400 to 700 years old — and a few that appear to be from more recent vandalism. It was a pleasant walk on a sunny breezy day.
After our walk we headed west to Santa Rosa Lake State Park. The drive all along Interstate 40 is beautiful: lots of cedar, cliffs to the north, grazing cattle, mountains and forests in the distance, golden fields of grass leading up to steep escarpments of red or grey rock.
Santa Rosa Lake is a reservoir created by an Army Corp dam completes in 1981. It has two campgrounds perched above the lake, some sites with electric, but only a few areas are open at this time of the year. I wish the various park agencies realized that with spring breaks starting in early March, there are many campers who want to camp, even in somewhat cool temperatures, and perhaps it is time to start opening these campgrounds March 1 instead of April 1 or later.
The Rocky Point CG Loop A was very pleasant. Most sites have sun and wind shelters over the picnic tables. A complete burn ban is in place so no wood or. Had oak fires. Bathrooms and a playground are among the amenities. Lots of birds and people walking dogs. We had excellent AT&T coverage.
One interesting facility in the town of Santa Rosa is an auto transfer station run by Union Pacific. Cars (lots of Nissans) are brought in by train, stored, and then loaded on to trucks to take to dealerships in the region. Many of the interstates we have traveled are paralleled by railroad tracks on which we have seen lots of auto transport carriers; now we know where at least some of them are headed.