Sunday, December 22, 2019

More petroglyphs, a hike to a mountain top cross, and inside the Santo Niño de Atocha Chapel, NM

December 21,2019

While waiting for things to warm up a bit before riding, I walked the nearby petroglyph site some more, finding more of the over 20,000 known petroglyphs left behind by ancient people.

It was sunny but in the mid-20s when I started but it would warm up quickly to 50 degrees by the end of this particular petroglyph hunt.

The Palisades and Sierra Blanca Peak

After removing a few layers, it was time to get my riding gear on over my hiking gear and ride Fiona, my '99 Patrol sidecar rig over to nearby Santo Niño de Atocha Chapel and park her at the Stations of the Cross Trail Head:

You can see the cross that was my destination, atop that cliff side

There are a total of 14 (not 13 as previously reported from someone else's blog post), the hike itself wasn't very hard, I'd rate it moderate and only because it's very rocky and sometimes steep.  It didn't take me really long to get to the top.

The first three stations of the cross I'd shown in yesterday's posting.  Here's the rest of them, each provided a handy guide to the trail as it was sometimes not so easy to follow it.

the last station before the cross

It was nice and breezy up there, but not cold with the strong sun shining down.  Finally some warm weather!  I spent a few minutes walking around, taking pics and just enjoying the scenery and quiet.

 I am unsure if this was a grave site atop the mountain,
I think it was more of a memorial site showing the people's
names involved with the installation of the cross perhaps?

 That little red speck?  That's the chapel

Coming back down proved trickier as I had to take it slow to avoid sliding on all the loose rock on the trail.  Still, no issues and made it all the way back down to Fiona with no close calls.

As I was in the neighborhood, I figured I'd go into the Chapel and see what it looked like.  I must say, I found it a bit on the cluttered side.  I think the church just couldn't say no to it's members when they wanted to contribute a religious figure or artwork, the walls were full of them.

 The main Altar

There were lit votive candles so someone must be around to mind such things but I didn't see anyone.

Leaving the chapel and back on the road, I stopped Fiona to pose her with first Sierra Blanca Peak and the Sacramento Mountains in the background, and then shots of her with the Palisade Rock formations.


RichardM said...

Looks like a nice hike. At least the uphill part. Is there any graffiti mixed in with the petroglyphs?

redlegsrides said...

Nice hike yes, plenty of opportunities to turn one’s ankle so care is dictated. Some graffiti evident but not a lot.

Spat said...

Neat area, I did not know of the petroglyphs in that place but it would makes sense. Fun BMW rally just north of where you at in Sipapu, thinking of going back this fall.
Happy trails

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the comments Spat, been to the Sipapu Rally once, it was fine.

SonjaM said...

Interesting that you found the traditional stations of the cross in the middle of nowhere. These cross trails of 14 stations can be found everywhere in Europe, especially in catholic regions.

redlegsrides said...

Not quite in the middle of nowhere SonjaM, the Chapel was nearby and I believe it's the Chapel that the folks in the Three Rivers area attended.

CCjon said...

Great find in that chapel, have never witnessed such over-decoration in a catholic church. Might be the local deacon approves the contributions as a priest might only visit monthly in such a remote area.

redlegsrides said...

Over-decoration, that’s a more fitting word! Thanks!