Alibates Flint Quarries

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There is a national monument north of Amarillo, the Alibates Flint Quarries, that should be on your list of places to visit. We took the tour and had a wonderful time. The Alibates Flint is some of the hardest flint in the world (7.5 on the hardness scale where 1 is talc and 10 is a diamond) and was used by native Americans for weapons and tools. It was widely traded and has been found on the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts and as far north as Minnesota, even though the flint is only found in this one location of the US.

In October 2016 (ToadDate 0004.10.02.2016-NM) we visited the Blackwater Draw in New Mexico where there is a large display of mammoths and other dinosaur bones found in the area. At this place mammoths were found with spear points in their bones, proving that humans and mammoths lived together. The spear points found there were made of Alibates Flint.

The flint is almost any color you can imagine. We were told a school boy brought a box of 64 crayons and could match every crayon with a piece of flint. The rarest color of Alibates Flint is green.

This was one of the most memorial guided tours that we have ever experienced in a National Monument. The rangers here really know what they are talking about and how these quarries fit in with the Indian cultures today and 13,000 years ago. The quarries are in a beautiful place high on a mesa. The walk on the tour isn’t too difficult with many stops to rest and the guide shares stories, history, and information about the area.

I would not want to make this trip in July or August when the temperature can easily be over 100 degrees, but right now it is only in the 80s and quite comfortable.

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