This post was written by Steve Henry
I now know why New Mexico is known as the “Enchantment State.”
What a beautiful and diverse landscape and group of people. We flew from Wilmington, North Carolina to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The trip was to be a family reunion with different members flying in from various parts of the country.
Stephanie my wife, Storm my son, and I flew into town a couple of days before everyone else, to do a little sight seeing. Albuquerque is located in the desert area of New Mexico. It was very warm, but the humidity was really low, unlike where we live in the Southeast United States.
The first afternoon, we walked from the hotel to the downtown area, where the University of New Mexico is located. We noticed that the football stadium was open, so we ventured in to take a look. The team is known as the University of New Mexico Lobos. Lobos means wolves in Spanish. We then walked around campus and the downtown area and came across a baseball stadium for a minor league team. I couldnâ€™t believe what team it was when I saw their name. They were called the Albuquerque Isotopes. I am not a fan of television or the Simpsonâ€™s cartoon, but I did see an episode a few years ago where Homer was involved in some deal with the Albuquerque Isotopes. I remember this because I was thinking, “How did they think of a name like that?” Now I know it is a real team.
The next day we went to go hiking and see the famous Petroglyphs that are located in Rinconada Canyon right outside of Albuquerque. How cool this was. I am an ancient history buff and scholar, and to actually hike in this canyon and see real petroglyphs was a very religious experience for me. Hunters and gatherers inhabited this area as long as 10,000 years ago. Around 500 A.D., permanent dwellers speckled the landscape inhabiting agricultural villages. There are over 20,000 petroglyphs that have been found so far in the canyon. While hiking, we just stopped and gazed at the beautiful petroglyphs, and for a moment I felt as though I was back thousands of years ago. It was very strange because I experienced dÃ©jÃ vu, but of course I had never been there before, at least not in this lifetime. You can recognize many of the petroglyphs portraying humans and animals, but some are strange and mysterious looking. Really makes one wonder about what was going on a few thousand years ago. Then something really hit me…something I used to think about when I was a child. A little background first: When I was a child, I used to have dÃ©jÃ vu a lot, but when I would have it, it would be like a flashback to long, long ago. With that said, I then thought about the people who made these petroglyphs, and when they were making them, they probably had no concept of thousands of years, yet in a blink of an eye, thousands of years later, here I am looking at these things. Some of you may understand what I am saying, if not, so be it. This is why in high school I studied Albert Einsteinâ€™s Time and Space theories, but I will save those topics for another blog post. Anyway, this is why I refer to this hike as a religious experience, because of the connection I felt to these ancient petroglyphs.
That evening, my sister and her family arrived in Albuquerque and met us for dinner. The following morning my parents arrived from Warrenton, Virginia, and my oldest nephew arrived from Annapolis, Maryland. Then the real journey would take place.
We were all on our way to northern New Mexico to a town called Angel Fire, where we had secured two cabins high up in the lower Rocky Mountains. I was ready for our journey, so we bedded down for our last night in Albuquerque, or so I thought.