El Morro Nat'l Monument, which is full of inscriptions ranging from petroglyphs to the early 20th Century. Notable among them is the first inscription by a Spaniard, Juan de Onate, who led their first settlement in the SW, and by an officer of the California Column in 1866. Even without the inscriptions, it's a very scenic location, with a 1/2 mile walking trail and a 2 mile loop. Definitely worth a visit.
A bit up the road one finds El Malpais Nat'l Monument. Malpais means "badlands"which is a good description for these huge lava fields from many eruptions, including one just 2000 years ago. It has two distinct sections, one a walk around an old crater and lava tubes - we started the walk, but a crash of thunder sent us back to the car. The other side takes one to overlooks and an arch - but first it was time for lunch at El Cafecito, Grants. This place is GOOD!
We took the long ride down the road to the overlook - sandstone cliffs that stopped the lava flows. First, we had to drive thru some of the residue of a rainstorm that had hit the area shortly before our drive - yellow, muddy water running over the road. After this side trip, we headed for Belen, a 100 mile drive. We stayed ahead of a big storm, checked into the Holiday Inn Express, and ate at Pete's, another great local eatery with New Mexican cuisine.
Tomorrow we take US-60 to Mountainair, NM-55 south to visit Salinas Missions at Gran Quivira, US-54 to Carrizozo and Three Rivers Petroglyphs, and on to Alamogordo.