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New Mexico

13-18 October, 2011

The state flag of New Mexico
The Great Seal
The state flag of New Mexico

I visited New Mexico with my climbing partner Squeak (Greg) to sample
the rocks in the Land of Enchantment. I had never made a trip to
this state in of itself, always in passing through on my way to someplace else.
We were concentrating our time in the Santa Fe & Taos areas this trip.

I liked them so much, I photgraphed them twice!
Old Glory & Old Newy
at Wagon Mound
14 October 2011
We slept here last night... in the trailer, that is!
Santa Fe Trail
Wagon Mound, NM
14 October 2011
These are supposed to ... uh... yummy?
Prickly Pear fruit,
at Wagon Mound, NM
14 October 2011
This might be a form of cholla
Maybe cholla?
Wagon Mound, NM
14 October 2011
Northeastern New Mexico's flora is well-represented here
Yucca & neighbors,
Wagon Mound, NM
14 October 2011

The huge Las Conchas fire in June had left its mark on the forests
surrounding Los Alamos, forests where we might have camped for free.We opted to stay instead
at Juniper Campground in Bandelier National Monument for $12 per night. Burned
timber tends to fall down in high winds, as I once experienced farther north in the Crestones!
After setting up, we headed for a place called Gallows Edge in Diablo Canyon to climb a bit...

That moon stayed up most of the day.
Sangre de Cristo mtns,
South of Springer
14 October 2011
This stuff was all over the place at Bandelier Nat'l Monument
Maybe fireweed?
Bandelier Nat'l Mon.
14 October 2011
Greg leveling the trailer
Juniper Campground
Bandelier Nat'l Mon.
14 October 2011
You'd have to drive about 75 miles to get across the river to that cliff!
Diablo Canyon beyond
Grande White river
15 October 2011
This is taken from the top of Diablo Canyon
Diablo Canyon,
White Rock, NM
15 October 2011

After climbing near White Rock for a couple of days, we headed west toward Las Conchas
in the Jemez Mountains. We drove through the devastation: thousands of acres of standing,
dead & dying trees on the hillsides and mountaintops. There were patches of survivors. The climbing
here was a bit different from the basaltic gorge below White Rock, rougher and probably igneous.
We met some Spaniards, probably scientific workers at the national lab in Los Alamos? Or maybe
they were here simply for the sport climbing, which felt alot like Spain to Greg and I...

That moon stayed up most of the day.
Highway 4,
west of Bandelier
16 October 2011
Thousands of acres of injured trees
Standing dead trees
Santa Fe Nat'l Forest
16 October 2011
Wonder when it's all gonna slide off?
Eroding hillsides,
Santa Fe Nat'l Forest
16 October 2011
Surviving growth at one point near the calderas
Some autumn color
above Highway 4
16 October 2011
Jump out of the van, get on some rocks!
Cattle Call Wall,
Las Conchas, NM
16 October 2011

We pulled up stakes and headed out toward Taos, where we had to decide
if we were going to Cimarron Canyon or El Rito. In the end, we chose the former.
Neither one of us were terribly enamoured with Taos when we saw it from a distance.
Then we made a wrong turn, the road not being well-signed at the critical junction.
We found ourselves on a steep, rough road that snaked its way down to the banks
of the Rio Grande. The brakes on Greg's trailer were smokin' hot after the descent.

Reminded me of Tres Cruces...
Leaving Bandelier
for Taos & beyond
17 October 2011
We couldn't see the big gorge we had yet to cross!
Distant Taos:
where's the beef?
17 October 2011
Ohhh boy.
A gentle clue
of what's ahead
17 October 2011
View from the steep upper gorge, scared to death!
The Rio Grande,
so far below...
17 October 2011
Spot the guard rail (hint: NO guard rail!)
Composing the shot,
remaining calm...
17 October 2011

Entering Taos from the south, we gassed up and headed for Cimarron Canyon. After
passing through the high plateau on this southernmost part of the Sangre de Cristo
mountain range, we parked the trailer at one of the campgrounds just past the
Palisades of Cimarron Canyon. It was a veritable ghost town, with a trio of porta-potties.
Still, it was only $10 a night to stay here. After lunch we headed for a little sandstone cliff,
named the Maverick Wall. We only had four hours of daylight left, so we had to get on it.

You can almost see part of the road cut...
West wall of the
Rio Grande's gorge
17 October 2011
While the brakes were cooling, I took a short stroll...
Nice to see ya.
Glad to be here!
17 October 2011
Just so you don't forget: it's still Autumn.
Now we need to drive
out of the gorge...
17 October 2011
Lizards mock me...
The fearless lizard,
king of the crag
17 October 2011
Long shot of the south rim of Cimarron Canyon
South rim of
Cimarron Canyon
17 October 2011

There was a bold lizard at the Maverick wall, and he told us to try climbing his
routes first. We climbed five routes before the cold came, then we dined on a
pot of trailer park stew before heading back to Wyoming the next morning. Alas,
when we reviewed the final climbing area we had visited, we discovered that the
area is closed to climbing, and that we were now rock route poachers!

Good reason to avoid going back for a while, I guess...

All images 2011 EBBoykin, Jr
except for public domain stuff... Contact Me