Day 4: Petroglyphs & Ancient Volcanoes || Albuquerque, New Mexico

Walk the trail in 4K and explore the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico with me at!


Driving to the Petroglyph National Monument as the next stop on my trip, plants and the earth change into more shades and colors than I can understand. The land is not like the long California Central Valley I hail from. On my way to New Mexico from Arizona, the earth changes between red and sandy browns and is splashed with flora and fauna in yellow- to icy-greens. Learn more about my hike around the Petroglyphs, ancient volcanos and more; Welcome to Day 4 of my summer 2021 road trip, “16 States in 16 Days!” at!

Utility Before Everything

There is something different about the mindset in New Mexico that is very obvious between one state and the next. Trucks and utility vehicles rule the road, some brands I have not heard of before. In this northern trek through the state, I rarely saw a sedan-style or compact car, if at all. The people seemed tough and focused on their task at hand, not distracted with phones or friendly chatter. Most of the restroom stops made me keenly aware I was one of the only travelers “out and about” while almost all others were truckers or workers. The bright-signs of Route 66 behind me, the time for “new” and “different” had begun.

No Shoes, No Shirt? No Problem!

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service is a sign used by some businesses in California and what came to mind as I stepped into Subway for lunch. I realize how little style and fashion matter as soon as I enter New Mexico. Shirts worn were thrown together haphazardly, “wearing” their shirt by a slight technicality. One button through the wrong button hole would show sun-baked skin, hardened by work in the wilderness. Here I thought I was someone who loved travel, loved the forest; these are people who live the forest life and I was jealous and humbled at the same time!

Petroglyphs National Monument

A small rangers hut marks the entrance of the Petroglyphs National Monument. $1 parking fee paid ($2 on weekends) and a short drive to what looks to be a nearby hill and I made it! It is 11 AM on June 14th, 2021 and 91° F/ 32.7° C but it barely feels warm. Why does it feel so different here? Just a few short hours away from California, this heat feels enjoyable and even…fresh? And it hits me, the air is CLEAN! Until that moment it never occurred to me just how different air can feel in different climates. Lungs no longer challenged by polluted air, it hits me with full force how much easier it is to function when I can breathe.

Take a Hike!

There are several trails to hike at the Petroglyphs National Monument. Again, I found myself wishing I had more time to explore! The Boca Negra Canyon Trail, a short 1 mile hike, is an ancient, very steep volcanic cone and requires good, close-toed shoes. I was able to record the hike back down with only a few slips and several up-close views of the carved images. Take the hike with me on my YouTube here or watch the video below!

Walk the Petroglyph National Monument – Boca Negra Canyon Trail || Albuquerque, New Mexico (S. Rose, 2021)

Road Trip TIP!

After the hike, I still had several hours on the road as I crossed over the tip of Texas to get to Oklahoma. Remember, self care is INCREDIBLY important on a road trip! Love’s was recommended to me & I will pass on the knowledge: Make Love’s you bathroom stops! They are consistently the most clean and well stocked. Share your travel tips in the comments below or on any of my social media and until next time, There Goes Sara Rose!

Sunset at Love’s in Erick, Oklahoma


A 4K Introduction to Watercolor | “Octopoda” by Sara Rose

Welcome to my FIRST watercolor tutorial, “Octopoda”, by Sara Rose, April 2021. Traveling as I can and watching nature documentaries in between, this little mollusk was inspired by my previous trips to the coastlines of California and oceanographer’s documentaries on the species. It made sense to paint a creature made up of so much water with watercolor and to also paint the entire piece of art in saltwater. Might as well make her feel at home!

Listen to a podcast of this article here:–2-A-4K-Introduction-to-Watercolor–Octopoda-e155if7

LOVE “Octopoda” and want to purchase a print? Check out my store here!

Paint along with me in this time-lapsed, instructional video for beginners in my YouTube video below! If you need to grab similar supplies first, check the list below to see what I used for “Octopoda”!

This is my first watercolor of this size and my aim is to improve with each painting. Constructive tips and tricks are most helpful for each artist and part of why we share our work. Please be respectful in the art community, everyone starts somewhere! What would you like to know I might not have covered in the video? What art medium are you currently using or projects you are working on? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and let’s get started!

Watch the 4K Watercolor Intro Tutorial here:

Paint & Tools Used:

  • QoR Watercolor, Made by Golden Artist, Introductory Set of 12 Colors
  • Royal & Langnickel Jumbo 50 Watercolor Paintbrush
  • One (1) small and old watercolor paintbrushes (misshapen is great!), inexpensive
  • One (1) line “thin” watercolor paintbrush, inexpensive
  • A Corelle plate
  • Three (3) large cups of water- 2 salted, one unsalted (for cleaning)
  • 15″x23″ Fabriano Artistico cold pressed extra white 300 g/m2 watercolor paper
  • 2″ Masking Tape
  • Kosher Salt
  • Table Salt
  • Lint Free Towel

I highly recommend setting aside a space for painting, a drop cloth is an inexpensive purchase compared to attempting to clean or replacing flooring. Let us know how your painting goes!

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