This is a rock

This. This is a rock.

rock 1

Here is the same rock, a little closer. Notice anything yet?

rock 2
This is starting to look like something more. Like something more than just a rock. More like a newspaper, perhaps.

rock 3Thousands of these pictures communicating messages we can only guess about cover the rocks. They were made a long, long time ago by the people who lived here, in the Painted Desert in Arizona.

desert 1

These pictures are called petroglyphs, and I am fascinated with them. When we were at Mesa Verde, I desperately wanted to take a 4 mile hike to go see some, but reason took over after realizing that my six year old would not be up for such a long walk in the two hours we had until sunset. She is capable of walking that far…both my kids have proved that they are awesome hikers! But that day, it was not to be.

It turned out that I would have my chance to see hundreds of petroglyphs in the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Ancient people scratched away the “desert varnish” from the rocks to create pictures, and amazingly they can still be seen today a thousand years or more later.

This. This is a blog.

Blog header MOAM

My blog is my Newspaper Rock. My attempt at communication, with you, with others who might stumble here accidentally. With myself. So many times I haven’t even known what I was going to write until I just sat down and started typing. And there it was; another blog post. Another few hundred words, sent out into the world. Communicating messages that in a thousand years no one will understand what it was all about.


Quirky Little Stops

It was hot in the desert, and I noticed that the teenaged boy who waved our car along was carrying a water bottle. I thought he was smart to stay hydrated on that arid day. I soon realized, however, that that was not the purpose of the water bottle after all. After we parked, he led us around the rocky ground showing us dinosaur tracks that remained behind from a long ago age. As he sprayed water on the tracks, we were able to see them better in the blazing sunlight.

dino tracks 2

This was a stop that we normally wouldn’t take the time to make on a vacation. When we were eating breakfast at our hotel, we met a couple that had stopped at the sign that read “Dinosaur Tracks” and they told us it was neat. We had some extra time, so we thought “Why not?”

dino tracks 1

Just a couple of miles outside of Tuba City, Arizona, this little Native American tourist stop is based on tips only. We thought it was neat to get out of the car and walk along the stony ground where dinosaurs used to tread.

dino tracks 3

Another fun stop on our vacation was the Four Corners, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. We had to pay a fee to visit this monument. Even though there is not much to see, it was fun to be in four states at one time.

Four Corners
“Four states here meet in freedom under God.”

As we were leaving Four Corners, along came the Wiener Mobile! We couldn’t pass up a chance to take a couple of pictures.

Wiener Mobile

At the end of our vacation, Ed pulled into a place on a whim….

Gus's Jerky

Let me tell you something…Gus knows how to make jerky! We bought some Cowboy Jerky, and it was quite tasty!

Do you stop at quirky little places when you’re on vacation?