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Off to the Balloon Fiesta

We’re heading out this morning to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta!

Yesterday we took a daytrip to El Malpais National Monument and El Morro National Monument, both of which are about 30-40 miles south of Grants.   El Malpais is a large area of volcanic origin, with lava tube caves, cinder cones, craters, and other features that are fun to hike around.   A chat with the ranger on duty, and a three-mile hike gave us   a nice overview of the park’s major features.

El Morro is only 18 miles away but entirely different.   It is much smaller, comprised of a bluff of very soft sandstone and a permanent pool of water that was a popular stop for native Americans, Spanish explorers, and settlers during the western expansion.   “Inscription rock” holds most of their signatures, petroglyphs, and graffiti.   The oldest European signature dates to 1605, but there are even old Puebloan petroglyphs that of course have no dates

I’ll get pictures up later, but right now we are rushing to get out of Grants in time to drive to Albuquerque and meet the other 29 Airstreams for a caravan into the Fiesta grounds.   We’ll be parked right next to the balloon launching field for the next four nights.   You can expect a lot of photographs soon.