Monday, July 4, 2016

New Mexico Day 4

Day four in New Mexico was a take it easy day. We slept in a little and then had continental breakfast at the RV Park. By 9:30 it was time to go to Petroglyphs National Monument. It is quite a bit cooler here than usual for this time of year, meaning it’s in the high 80s rather than the high 90s, so we did a few hikes. The first hike climbed straight up to an overlook of Albuquerque and passed many petroglyphs carved into the basalt along the way. The boys worked on their Junior Rangers and earned a really cool badge and patch. Uncle Glen bought Junior Ranger hats to complete the outfit, and they are quite stunning in their vests, hats, and badges. We did another short trail that led past a bunch of other petroglyphs, and as we were pulling into the parking lot we saw our first roadrunner. The boys were so excited, but not quite as excited as Mom.
The hats definitely complete the outfit!  
The first roadrunner we spotted! 
Dad was a fan of this hand petroglyph!
Dax loved all the animal petroglyphs.
Seth just likes to make crazy faces.
Dad said this was a girl playing the drums, and Mark agreed. 
Here we all are exploring Petroglyph National Monument.
There are petroglyphs everywhere. Seriously, everywhere!!
After Petroglyphs National Monument, we headed over to Rio Grande State Park for lunch. It is a really pretty little spot along the Rio Grande River that is full of wildlife. We had a sandwich picnic in the pavilion and then went to the Visitor’s Center. They had a fun little playroom where you could magnify objects, make animal tracks, or watch 2-day-old bluebirds get fed by their mother. They also had a huge observation window. We looked out and saw a few dozen red-eared slider turtles, wood ducks, Canadian geese, black-chinned hummingbirds, and long-tailed squirrels. Laurie and Glen stayed at the observation window while we took a hike around the wetland. They’d told us you could see porcupines, but we didn’t. We managed to see a new bird, which Mark identified called a blue grosbeak. We also saw cattle egrets, and Dad spotted a tiny frog in the Rio Grande that could’ve fit on the tip of his pinkie. We really enjoyed the park, and we even learned a new game called Pooh-Sticks, which is when you take sticks on the bridge, drop them in the river, and rush to check and see who’s stick came out the other side first. The boys really enjoyed this game.
To enter the Visitor Center, you walk through this tunnel.
There were red eared sliders all over the place!
We liked watching the hummingbirds, too!
We had fun peeking through the wall at the turtles, hummingbirds, and squirrel. 
This squirrel was very fat! I wonder why!
We played Pooh Sticks over and over again!
Mom and Dad liked checking out the Rio Grande River.
Can you spot the tiny frog?
The Blue Grosbeak that Mark spotted and identified.

We were all in need of a slow day today, so we decided to drive out to the Albuquerque Temple and take pictures for our books. This is the 30th temple Mom and Dad have visited together, though we’ve only done sessions in about 25. We took pictures for the boys’ temple books and then headed back to the RV Park. The boys really wanted to go swimming, so we took them over to the pool for a while. Mom and Dad and the boys splashed around for over an hour and then headed back to dinner. Laurie cooked chicken and stuffing tonight, and the boys finished their leftovers from Panda Express. Then, we watched the Peanuts movie. It was a nice slow day, which all of us needed. And for once, the kids were in bed by 9 pm!
The Albuquerque temple was really hard to get a picture with. Mom is laying on the ground to take this one out front.
We took most of our pictures in the back with the pretty fountain.
Dax loved jumping into the pool.
The boys would live in the pool if we let them.

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