Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day Three, New Mexico

Well, I uploaded the photos from start to finish, so the are now in reverse order. So we'll go backwards through the day!

We came into Los Alamos via the back road from the Jemez mountains. The guard rail does NOT look like its enough to hold one back from plunging hundreds of feet to certain doom. But the vista is incredible. Here are views from the last two hairpin turns.

Just a bit up the mountain from the super-scary turns is Sawyer Hill, a ramshackle rough-it hiking area. Our family used to own 50 acres of land here with several other families. Here is the cooking cabin, falling down even more than it was before.
A few years ago, the Bandelier National Monument forest rangers decided to do a prescribed burn on a windy day. It got out of control and burned most of the mountains in the area, and many homes in Los Alamos too. Below you can see that some trees are regrowing among the burnt sticks of former trees.
At the top of the moutain area is Valle Grande, a huge beautiful grassland that is the center of this ancient volcanic caldera.

On the way up to the top of the mountain range, you pass through several park areas. This one is Battleship Rock.
Before that we stopped at Soda Dam and hiked around it. Some nutsy people jump into the stream above this waterfall and ride the current down this shoot.
As a child I remember that this area smelled awful from the hot sulpher spring water across the highway. This day there was virtually no smell. It was breezy, but when we stuck our hands in the warm water they didnt smell sulpher either.

Both Battleship Rock and Soda Dam are just a few miles north of Jemez Pueblo. The picture below is across from the Walatowa Visitor Center for the Jemez Pueblo. Little booths were selling bread and other native foods. I love the red clifs.

More scenery along the road from Jemez to Los Alamos.

Earlier in the day we visited the Bien Mur Indian Market.
We had lunch at the buffet at the Sandia Pueblo resort & casino.

They have a very impressive lobby with enormous ceilings and wood tree trunk pillars.

1 comment:

beth said...

I guess all the NAs are getting on the Casino bandwagon. Whee. Or not.

Yay for Battleship Rock! Hey, are you going to see Cylon Mountain? Take a picture!