Life goes fast, and there’s always more to seek and find and explore. Here’s a picture of some Pecos Diamonds (quartz) from near Roswell, NM we picked up going on a decade back. These crystals are interesting not just for their unusual colors and sometimes overgrown habits, but also becuase they really glint in the sun. When the angle is just right, they really sparkle like diamonds! Check public lands on the bluffs east of the river, (make sure you are outside the Bottomless Lakes State Park). 33.399351, -104.346342
Bottomless lakes is an interesting place all in itself. Some say that it has underground river connections clear down to the Cenotes in the Yucatan, where Maya used to paint their sacrificial people in blue before they tossed them in. The Maya Blue pigment is very special, resisting weathering and realizing a very intense blue that can’t be had any other way. Recent science and archaeology indicate that the most likely source for Maya Blue was in the state of Georgia, USA. http://www.mayainamerica.com/
Clearly, the ancient trade networks of the Americas were very extensive, and so it’s conceivable that Moctezuma’s Aztecs really did abscond with the royal treasury and bury it far north somewhere in Aztlan, now the southwest of the USA in the areas of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, or New Mexico. Certainly, I have seen a number of petroglyphs in New Mexico that depict monkeys, macaw-like birds, and other aspects of culture from much farther south, especially the ubiquitous Rain God, Tlaloc – usually found as a pair of square eyes with an an associated ornate stair-step like pattern, and sometimes a corn stalk.
It’s known that the venerable Chacoan’s kept Macaw birds, and used them like we use a PhD, a BMW, or a diamond ring today: as a status symbol. If you have been to Chaco, in northern New Mexico, then you know this is almost a world away from central Mexico back in the days of travel by foot (they had no beasts of burden or horses). And this was the *center* of the Chacoan culture. They had “roads” radiating out from Chaco, so their influence, knowledge, and trade spanned vast areas indeed.
That we know so much about these ancient peoples and have a paved path and brochures to go see a tiny slice of it accrues applause for the work of the vaunted achaeologists and robotic park-folk that we fund with our hard-earned tax dollars. That they have double standards for our human right to interact with our shared history in a more meaningful and direct way, and indeed hide and hoard knowledge and artifacts solely for the benefit of their self-appointed club of worthy elites while holding thier hands out and condeming the curiosity of others is almost to be ironically expected.
Get off of the beaten path, stay away from the double-taxation payboxes and paved parking lots and arrogant and ignorant ranger hats, do your research, put in your time, and you can still have the profound and natural experience of discovery all on your own – no brochure required.