Petroglyph National Monument

If you are ever passing through Albuquerque, New Mexico with a few hours to kill and the urge to hike, try Petroglyph National Monument. There are several trails of varying difficulty (primarily due to their length), and…

Aw, who am I kidding? The reason to go to Petroglyph is to see petroglyphs:

There. Now where were we?

Most of the trails (but not all) are packed with images chipped into the rocks, and the discovery of them is a great activity for interested kids, like an Easter egg hunt, only with artifacts they don’t get to keep, and more threatening elements than botulism and diabetes. Fun, right?

Absence of candy meltdowns aren’t the only peril: snakes, dehydration, millipedes (bite-sized, brown toxic bugs that look like chocolate — hey, I’m just saying; I don’t know how smart your kid might be).

So, please read up before you go. (Did you know Albuquerque is at above 5,300 feet? DRINK WATER!) The NPS site below contains crucial information about the dangers, directions, visiting hours, road closures, and hiking trails.

Petroglyph National Monument

However, it also says this:

No one can say for sure what many petroglyphs portray. Native peoples may hold complex and widely varying interpretations of many images, depending upon context. Sometimes images are identified on the basis of contemporary cultural interpretations. It is not always appropriate to even reveal the meanings of images. ~ NPS

Huh?

I mean, okay, I get the idea that petroglyphs are not the Native American equivalent of displaying toddler art on the refrigerator.

Even so, “It is not always appropriate to even reveal the meanings of images,” isn’t only bad grammar, it’s willfully ignorant. Or, stubbornly, politically correct. Or, foolishly obtuse. Or, all of the above. Or, something else (feel free to comment below).

At the very least, the meaning of that sentence has yet to be appropriately revealed (to me). Until then, please enjoy these images:

5 thoughts on “Petroglyph National Monument

  1. Maybe there is a spiritual element – like names for a being whose name “shouldn’t” be used. I personally think that to strategically use the split infinite is a fine thing!

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    • Wow, a spiritual element that shouldn’t be named. Great suggestion! What they meant is probably simply explained, and all this dialogue is overthinking it, but I like that their unsupported observation is leading to such diverse perspectives.

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