Pictures: Day 13

Day 13 / Wednesday, September 9, 2009

With my left foot still throbbing and knowing that the northern New Mexico part of the CDR route was quite rocky, I decided to stay on pavement through the state.

Red rock formations south of Chama on US 64.

Abiquiu Reservoir

My good friend Allen is from Farmington, but I was heading south to Cuba.

Twisty pavement on NM-197 heading to Grants.

Straight as an arrow heading into the desert.

At the Sandstone Bluffs Overlook in El Malpais (badlands) National Monument looking out across the vast McCarty's Lava Flow, dated to around 3,000 years ago and comparable to the currently active Kilauea lava flow in Hawaii.

Sandstone bluffs along NM 117.

Sandstone bluffs along NM 117.

La Ventana Natural Arch, eroded from sandstone deposited during the Dinosaur Era (more than 65 million years ago).

Short trees growing in the lava flow, which can be around 200 years old or more but have stunted growth due to the harshness of the environment.

Sandstone bluffs along NM 117.

Reading up about the lava flow.

The CDR route to Pie Town, which I decided against seeing the soft mud and the expected afternoon rains.

On such open ground, the clouds feel much closer and provide enough entertainment in the otherwise barren landscape.

Montana might have grabbed the Big Sky tag line, but how's this for New Mexico's big sky. The road is at the bottom right.

Turns in the road are always appreciated after super long straight sections.

Cutting across on NM-603 towards Pie Town. I did say no more off road but I was trying to avoid riding through that dark cloud on the right with lightning.

A random old sign post with the infamous Hwy 666, which was taken down due to its religious connotations with the Christian devil and the sign being stolen too often.

Bad timing as the famous pie shop closed an hour before (3pm).

Crossing the Plains of San Augustin on US 60 and catching the first glimpse of some dish antennas in the distance.

The dishes are part of the Very Large Array radio telescope, located 50 miles west of Socorro. This was also the site for the Jodie Foster movie Contact.

Being an astronomy enthusiast, I was excited to visit the site, which is open to the public.

How beautiful to see nature interacting with man's high technology. Pronghorn galloping across the array site.

It was getting late in the day and I planned to visit the next morning.

Signature New Mexico thunderstorms moving in fast across the high plains with lightning in the distance.

Next: Day 14, VLA and Southern New Mexico

Pictures Index

No comments:

Post a Comment