Roadtrips are about maps, landscapes,complex farming systems, interstate cloverleafs, crazy quilts of geology and occasionally the layouts of ancient abandoned villages. We are always trying to visualize where we are from above — the big picture.
The photo above perfectly conveys this idea — mysterious and inviting exploration. The remains of an ancient civilization buried in the desert? No. It’s a jumble of recent footprints in the fine sand at the Aztec* Ruins National Monument in Aztec, New Mexico. We were inside one of the tiny stone buildings when I looked down to see how our footprints were all being so neatly recorded. It captured my imagination somehow and this photo is one of my favorites.
*This northwest NM ruin has nothing to do with Aztecs. The village was built by the Ancestral Pueblo people (aka Anasazi).