Alamo Mtn 11.05.2011

My last trip was back to Alamo Mtm.  Alamo Mtn is located between El Paso, Texas and the Guadalupe mountains on the Otero Mesa.  There is an outcrop of stony hills called the Cornudas Mountains.  Alamo Mtn is one of these hills.

For some reason Alamo Mtn is the site of hundreds or possibly thousands of Indian petroglyphs.  Petroglyphs are drawings that are etched on the outer layer of the rock face.   Pictographs are drawings that are painted on the rock face.

Access to the Mtn does not require a four-wheel drive but does need a higher clearance vehicle.  The road is very rocky with sharp rocks. The road is not marked but you do run into a sign that points to the parking lot. 

From the parking lot it is about a  .65 mile climb up the hill to the first panel.  The altitude is 57oo ft. The walking is difficult with lots of cactus and  low-lying cacti along with  lots of mesquite and spanish daggers. Sturdy foot wear is a must.  I banged on shin on a rock and my skin opened up .  Best to walk a few feet , then look up and try to see and panel and then walk a little more.  Binoculars also help in looking for the elusive panels.  This is not a trip for someone with small children or if  you have problems walking.

The last time I went here I took my GPS and marked everything I found.  I was lucky on that trio as on a prior trip I did not find anything.  We walked to one set of coordinates and started the treasure hunt for rock art.  I saw some the art I saw before and found many more panels.

At the base of the Mtn. , there are ruins of a Butterfield Overland Mail station  called Ojos de los Alamos or Cottonwood Springs. The Butterfield Overland Mail was a stagecoach route used to deliver the US mail and transport passengers between San Francisco, CA and either St Louis, Mo or Memphis, TN. It operated from 1857 to 1861.

 There was also a low stone wall built behind  the station.  This wall does not seem to have any purpose.  There are other such walls in the Southwest just appearing in the middle of nowhere.  There was a rock with graffiti dating dated 1849 . The distance of this rock from the station and shape of the rock leads me to speculate  that the travelers used this rock to lean against to relieve themselves.

Close to the ruins is a concrete tank which is filled with garbage next to that is an earthen tank and below that is a concrete water tough.  Since this was called cottonwood springs there might have been a spring that filled the tanks

As most discoveries are, I stumbled  upon a marker as well as a grave.  using the GPS we were able to find these spots again.  We did find something new; a rectangle of rocks.  More graves ?  Without digging we’ll never know.  Digging ,of course, is not allowed on BLM land.

On the walk back we saw a couple of javelinas. Since the wind was blowing against us they did not notice us . I was able to get close to them to try to get a picture and the wind stopped for a moment. The big pig stopped and raised his fur and looked at me.  Then they took off running.

On the way back we saw lots of cattle and a herd of pronghorn antelope . These antelope were running and then visibly started running very fast. They were paralleling  the track we were on and were running at 40 mph.

Last we stopped at was  was a neat looking building that was used  in the movie “Last Man Standing”

I know I’ll be back as there are more panels to find. maybe on the other side of the mountain.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Alamo Mtn 11.05.2011

  1. Kirk

    Good write up & pictures on the trip.

    Like

  2. LexusAllTerrain

    Great research, history and pictures!

    Like

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