El Morro National Monument
El Morro National Monument is an imposing site, but for early travelers it was a welcome one. At the base of this mighty mesa is the only water source for miles. The pool is practically hidden in a nook and is fed by snow runoff and rainwater. We wondered how it was originally discovered, thinking it was probably the tell-tale black streaks the sluicing streams marked down the face of the cliff that gave it away. It’s like an ancient rest stop, providing a place to pull over for Puebloans, and then Spaniards, and finally Americans. It’s sobering to realize that we’ve only had easy access to running water for less than a century. In 1920, fewer than 1% of homes in America had indoor plumbing. For the people who passed through, and for those that briefly lived there, that pool was a cool drink of water.