At petroglyphs, a reflection of great journeys

Feb 9, 2022

Since time immemorial, the Caja del Río has been a place of great journeys. What originally started as wild game migration trails became Pueblo footpaths. Thousands of years later, one of these paths became the famed El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Spanish trade route that ran from Mexico City to the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh.

Centuries later, portions of this trade route were designated as N.M. 1 running up La Bajada Hill. That project was considered one of the world’s greatest engineering feats and became part of New Mexico’s bid for statehood. A few decades later, the portions of N.M. 1 crossing the Caja became part of Route 66, the “Mother Road” that called forth westward migration.

For thousands of years, the Caja del Río has told the complex story of the confluence of cultures in Northern New Mexico. It has spoken to the sacred connection between the people, land, water and wildlife that makes us who we are today.

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