Into the Desert: New Mexican Aztec Ruins

Moving on from Northern Texas, I made my way into the depths of New Mexico. I was taken aback while traveling through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas due to the sights I had never seen before – the ever-reaching, endless farms, crowds of stifled cattle packed behind wire, all inter-mixed fields of lush produce and arid plains of brush and clay dirt.

New Mexico was an immediate change from the rest. Passing through in the early morning, I was stunned by the red rocks commanded your absolute attention. Their faces jutting out of the earth, baking in the early strains of the day, were a signal that you were passing into a new area of the United States – a new climate and a different lifestyle. The elevation steadily increased on towards Albuquerque – the mountains reaching evermore towards the sky – and the air grew thinner and drier.

It was a land that I had long romanticized: the geography was so utterly foreign to what I had grown up with in New England. Suffice to say, it lived up to what I had long romanticized.

Spending a great deal of time driving across the state (although I did spend two days in Albuquerque (for anyone looking for a sprawling, lively city with a wonderful mixture of an urban and natural environment, I can’t recommend it enough)), I was not able to take many photos of the state itself.

I did, however, get the opportunity to visit the Aztec Ruins National Monument. Given the opportunity to walk through such an area is a step into the past. Furthermore, it made for a humbling experience.

Attempting to piece together the ruins of a culture and people that once were is difficult to imagine. Historian’s and preservation officials have done their best in attempting to understand the culture’s lifestyles based upon the architecture left behind, between the ruins, religious grounds, etc. It makes for an interesting perspective while visiting the site, attempting to wonder what might become of the land you and your people once lived on after you have come and gone.

What shall be left in the ruins of our society? What societal worth shall leave behind for others to stumble upon? Will they be interpreted correctly and with due respect? Better yet, will someone find my writing journals and be like, “Wow, look at this idiot!”? These are the things I need to know.


The following experience to come would see me leaving New Mexico and passing through Colorado. I was on the road with Moab, Utah to be exact. Comping up next…. Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to follow my blog to read soon-to-come blogs chronicling my U.S. cross country trip.
You can read my previous cross country posts here:


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