The day before we had called the ranger station at the Palatki Heritage Site to make a reservation to see the ancient cliff dwellings and rock art. Larry and I woke early, so we left Evan snoring and went off for breakfast. We landed at the Coffee Pot Restaurant down the road on 89. An amusing menu with "101 Omelets!" Well, the spinach-mushroom-zucchini with eggbeaters hit the spot. Good coffee, too.
The Palataki ruins are down a 5-6 mile dirt road, a slow, rattling drive. At the end you park and register with the rangers, and then take the short walk up.
Interestingly, the site is run by volunteers, passionate amateur archaeologists. Two elderly gentlemen who have been studying the local ruins for years give the tours. It was also great to see these guys nimbly hopping up rocks on the quite steep walk to the cliff dwellings.
The site with the rock art has been decorated for many thousands of years by several different peoples, everything from scratched patterns of the very earliest to a "calendar" showing sun and moon positions and shadows on the surrounding mountains which show planting and harvest times. This was a fascinating visit, well worth anyone's time.
By now it was 12:30, and we headed to Phoenix where we had a 5 pm flight to Albuquerque. Stopped off at Wildflower Bread in the Pinon shops for sandwiches. We'd wanted to be able to go to the Phoenix Botanical Gardens for a short while since its close to the airport, but traffic was heavy, and we decided to not chance it. Uneventful flight, although we were lucky we hadn't booked the earlier flight, which was delayed because of mechanical problems and left after ours did. We stopped in Albuquerque for dinner near the University, some brew pub with decent burgers. Arrived at our rental in the hills on the outskirts of Santa Fe, and relaxed with a glass of wine. The little house is comfortable, charming, a bit quirky. Beautiful views down to Santa Fe.