Places Visited, on Three Continents
PART THREE: NORTH AMERICA---U.S. State of NEW MEXICO
I have visited many places in New Mexico, but most of these visits were prior to my discovery of the joys of digital photography, so these more recent visits, most of them since taking up residency in the southeast part of the state, are what I have available to share on the internet. No doubt this page will expand as I continue to live here, travel here, and hike here:
A visit to Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico) including a visit to the lower cave before it was opened for visits.Spring cactus flowers at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Walking in and out of Carlsbad Caverns! (Added in 2011) I do it again and again for the beauty, the cool air, and the exercise. All I can offer you here is some images of that beauty. Plus some mention of Dante's Inferno. UPDATED 18 SEPTEMBER 2011 with added photos and text.
Almost all the same photos as in the above item, but this time in a movie format, accompanied by the truly amazing music (used with permission) of Amethystium's album called Emblem (2006). The music represents track 3, Exultation, track 7, Shadow to Light, and track 11, Emblem. Listen to Amethystium's music at http://www.amethystium.com. Thank you.
Carlsbad Caverns Ranger-led tour of the "Scenic Rooms:" the King's Palace, the Papoose Room, the Queen's Chamber, and the Green Lake Room. Speleothems up close and personal!
The same scenic rooms cave photos can also be seen as a slide-show set to music, by downloading it here. It is less than 11 minutes long.
Had enough of caverns for a while. Good. But not tired of Karst discussions and photos yet? Good again! So join me for a nice walk, on a hot September day, in Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico, southeast of Roswell.
A first visit to the Gila Mountains in southwestern New Mexico: with a page about the Apaches of southern New Mexico and several pages about the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. First page? YES. We will be back!
A second visit to the Gila Mountains of southwestern New Mexico, near Silver City.
A southwestern New Mexico walk: City of Rocks State Park.
Another southwestern New Mexico walk: the Florida Mountains near Deming.
Flying to El Paso with a side trip (by car) to the Sacramento Mountains near Alamogordo, New Mexico, for a short Dog Canyon hike.
A flood on the Pecos River through Carlsbad, 12 September 2013. To see other peoples' videos of this flooding, try these YouTube links:
A near-record snowfall and blizzard in Eastern New Mexico and its lesser impact on Carlsbad (home).
The Blue House Cafe in Carlsbad and its tree.
Sitting Bull Falls
SO VERY, VERY SAD! BECAUSE OF 2010s FIRE, THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE WILL NEVER LOOK THIS WAY AGAIN FOR SEVERAL HUMAN GENERATIONS! But some of the Texas madrone trees will, apparently, come back contrary to what I was told when visiting the falls on 16 June 2012:
From the Lincoln National Forest website: "Many of the Texas Madrone trees died from the fire, and some are resprouting from the roots indicating the wildland fire was not as severe down by the water’s edge. Only one Texas Madrone tree has re-sprouted from the trunk and branches which just might make it the ‘grandfather tree” in the area one day."
In August of 2013 I revisited the area to check on revegetation progress. I was encouraged.Two weeks later I walked up into the area where my two favorite 'dancing trees' lived, in the burned out area above Sitting Bull Falls. I was totally amazed to find them still alive, and still dancing!
That flood on the Pecos River at Carlsbad (see above) was accompanied by other floods throughout the state. One place that received a flash flood that day was the canyon where my two favorite dancing trees were still dancing in August (see just above). The outcome made me sad. Really. For a while.
I wrote "A Requiem for a Fallen Tree," some text with photos, and it was published in the Spring 2014 issue of the Focus on Carlsbad magazine, pages 18-19.
Then I went back to see if my fallen tree was really dead. It was, but I was surprised --pleasantly surprised-- that other Texas Madrone trees seem to be rising from their roots already! (February 21, 2014)
MAY of 2014, yet another visit to the same place to check on Mother Nature's renovation progress!
October of 2014, another revisit after another tropical storm caused flooding agan, this time with some trail damage and wild flowers.
The photo pages linked below depict the area before the 2010 fire disaster.
Sitting Bull Falls, not far from Carlsbad, are impressive! The phenomenon of water bringing an an explosion of life to the desert, which is already quite lively, never ceases to amaze. A comparison is made with the falls on the river Piedra in Spain which also creates a magical, lush setting in a dry area, but on a grander scale (see Spain-page linked below).
Sitting Bull Falls has reopened! It reopened late in July of 2015, almost two years after the flood of September 2013. A few weeks later we re-visit the dancing tree neighborhood and find it nicely recovering.
A drive and short walk in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico with some splendid vistas and amazing vegetation.
Three forays into the Guadalupe Mountains, by car and on foot, February and April 2016: (1) the Black Canyon Lookout, (2) Forest Road 9553, and (3) the Pinnacle.
One more foray into the Guadalupe Mountains: by car and on foot, still April, but this time a good chunk of LONESOME RIDGE is explored. I did not finish? No. Ran out of time and energy to complete the walk, so will do it again later this year, and finish, promise!
A second attempt to explore the Guadalupe Mountains' LONESOME RIDGE trail. I started an hour earlier and went about an hour further than in the previous attempt in April. But still did not go all the way to the end. Once again, ran out of time and energy, so will do it again later this year. That is a promise--again--but next time need to drive further and walk less. This map was made on 05-24-2016, when the "Coyote Fire" raged through Guadalupe Mountains National Park, closing almost all of the park to visitors, and even areas outside the park in New Mexico as you can see by this infrared heat map (our hike took place on the 22nd before the fire spread this far):
A ride among the Cornudas Mountains just across the border from Texas in New Mexico. Plus the Gypsum Sands part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. The entire main park was closed because of the Coyote Fire at this point in time so the only part of the park open to visitors was the Gypsum Sand Dunes area to the west of the main park. The Coyote Fire, at this point, was a managed burn to remove grass and dry brush. It was started by lightning.
Something quite different: no great mountains or stunning colors, except at sunset. A large but rather shallow depression in the earth. A karst feature going by the name of Nash Draw, about 25 or so miles from Carlsbad, New Mexico. It has mines, both open and closed, and an honest to goodness Salt Lake, aka: Laguna Grande de la Sal.
A followup to the Nash Draw pages explores the goelogic history of the area, explains the role of 'sinkholes' in defining the lay of the land as we see it today, and looks at active sinkholes on the periphery of Nash Draw.
Southeastern New Mexico: A Tale of Two Rivers a whimsical (= silly, or stupid) introduction to two desert rivers that are related, joined so that the two become one, but that are very different from each other. From that introductory page, or right from here, you can jump directly to picture pages about each of these two rivers: the Pecos River with emphasis on its salt- loading from an underlying brine aquifer originating in Nash Draw, and the Black River, a short river we explore from its end to its beginning.
A Frosted Black River. A December 2013 visit to the Black River during a fog and freeze event. About 10 miles north of the Texas border in New Mexico.
A look at Higby Hole (aka Hippie Hole) on the Black River, plus Lake Avalon on the Pecos River.
Southeastern New Mexico: A tale of two canyon-trails this time, Slaughter Canyon Cave Trail, and Slaughter Canyon Trail. On return from one of the hikes I met the family of the man who discovered Slaughter Canyon Cave. I hope one of them sees this and sends me the story of the discovery so I can post it here. (That is a hint, of course.)
SPRING 2014 UPDATE: Slaughter Canyon recovery from 2010 fire.
White Sands National Monument was a real treat for me to visit again, after a 26-year hiatus. Imagine my peaked interest upon finding out that when in the Tulerosa Basin, where White Sands is located, I was once agin in a closed (endorheic = no water outflow) basin created by the pulling apart of land between two plates, just like Death Valley! A grossly oversimplified page on the geology of White Sands is followed by a series of White Sands photo pages describing two walks in the dunes.
Speaking of the Permian in southern New Mexico and west Texas, I have several pages on what it is and when it was.
I made four 10 to 12 minute movies: "Gifts from the Permian" (a musically accompanied series of four slide shows of the best I have seen, so far, in southern New Mexico and west Texas).
The Gypsum Plain extends from south of Carlsbad, New Mexico well into Texas. It has many karst features. It also has gypsum caves, and in these pages we visit two of the Park's-Ranch Caves.
Carlsbad, New Mexico, where the Pecos River shines! Just came back from taking pictures of trees in Paris, and trees and rivers in Germany, and then it occurred to me: you have trees at home in Carlsbad too, and a very nice river with a Riverwalk. So here are some 'down-home' samples.
A blizzard hits Carlsbad in early 2016, a rare event that shut down all highways in and out of town for several days.
A walk on the Ocotillo Trail, one of the nice things that Carlsbad, New Mexico, has to offer besides the Pecos River walk.
A single 2015 photo of snow falling in Carlsbad.
Two 2012 walks through the burned out zone (June 2011 fire) around Carlsbad Caverns National Park, on the Old Guano Mine Road Trail from White's City to the Visitor Center.The Guano Trail again, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, on October 13, 2013, to check on vegetation recovery after the great fire of 2011.
The Cornudas Mountains of New Mexico and Texas, a discussion of origins.
A short Winter 2014 walk in Dark Canyon, south of Carlsbad, New Mexico, with a small rock shelter and an oasis.
Two more short walks in Dark Canyon just south of Carlsbad, February 2015.
Another short Winter walk (2014) from Guadalupe Ridge Road, with a view toward Lonesome Ridge. A continuation of a previous short walk in the same area (2013).
A double rainbow and a sunset seen while coming home from Guadalupe Ridge on Labor Day, 2015.
A 2014 Summer walk on two different trails along the Guadalupe Ridge, with views into DEVILS DEN CANYON and toward McKittrick Canyon and a very short walk on the Tejas trail in the rain.
2014 DEVILS DEN CANYON hikes in the Guadalupe Mountains National Forest (New Mexico). THREE SEPARATE HIKES that finish (?) what was started as part of the 2014 Summer walks from Guadalupe Ridge Road (linked above).
Guess those three walks did not finish anything: A FOURTH DEVILS DEN CANYON-related walk, this one in December 2014.
A January 2015 visit to the Devils Den Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) [corrections were made about the location of the WSA on 30 January].
February 2015: Next to the last (5th) walk to Devils Den Canyon, a complete loop through the WSA and the canyon, followed by yet another (6th) Devils Den Canyon walk two weeks later, one that enters the canyon's bottom outlet.
One very final (promise!) Devils Den Canyon walk: Devils Den Spring.
Later in December 2014, in fact not posted until 2015, a wintry walk on Trail 45 on Wilderness Ridge overlooking McKittrick Canyon coming from the New Mexico side. ( Complements a walk up from the Texas side up to the Wilderness Ridge from McKittrick Canyon on the Permian Reef Trail).
A walk into the very northern start of North McKittrick Canyon, starting from the Guadalupe Ridge Road (Forest Roads 540 and 3008 and a now abandoned part of Trail 201). This walk is compemented by a NORTH McKITTRICK CANYON walk starting in Texas at the main McKittrick Canyon's Pratt Cabin in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. A future walk will connect these two starts, or maybe not, the next (third) attempt got to water sooner than expected! A fourth walk looked down on North McKittrick Canyon from its north rim to estimate the level of difficulty involved in walking down from the northern reach of the canyon; it was a nice walk, but useless for judging difficulty. Will have to try again.
It is April 2016. Spring! Leaves are out and there are a few flowers here and there in the desert, but the Guadalupes are still in Winter drab. Nevertheless a beautiful day presented itself and enticed us to do a long walk and North McKittrick Canyon was visited once more. We go where the north arm of the canyon starts, again, but this time we look around a bit more than previously and follow the canyon bottom until the second tributary comes in.
A tale of two atomic bombs set off in New Mexico: Trinity, the first ever atomic bomb exploded in the world, and Gnome, the first ever atomic bomb set off for peaceful purposes.
Also a quick look at the Rio Grande River, and the Valley of Fires Recreation Area near the Trinity Site.
The salt lake, Laguna Grande de la Sal, near the Gnome site (also previously pictured and described).
Flowers and trees at home in Carlsbad in May 2014, UPDATED in June and August.
Three September 2015 destinations in Northern New Mexico:
|Rio Grande Gorge and some views from the "High Road to Taos"|
|Northern reach of the Pecos River|
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