We've been back in Texas for a while, but never got to share all that we saw in Northwestern New Mexico. So I thought I'd go back to El Malpais National Monument and show a bit more from that interesting part of the world.
We got up early one morning to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and explore a few areas that didn't have set hours. First we stopped at some amazing sandstone bluffs that overlooked black volcanic flows in the valley below.
We always find it interesting to come across a USGS Survey Monument set into rock.
And we can't resist getting a "top of the world" picture!
As we left the Sandstone Bluffs we came across the ruins of Garrett Homestead. The Garrett Family left the midwest during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, seeking a new start in the west. This cabin was built in the 1930's.
After leaving the Sandstone Bluffs area we continued up the road toward the La Ventana Arch. This entire region is a puzzle of different federal lands. In addition to the El Malpais National Monument, there is the El Malpais National Conservation Area, a couple of different Wilderness Areas, and the Chain of Craters Wilderness Study Area! A confusing jumble of public lands with many different rules and purposes.
La Ventana ("the window") Arch is located in the 60,000 acre Cibolla Wilderness Area. Wilderness Areas allow only non-motorized, non-mechanized access. So walking and stock animals (horseback, llamas...) are the only means of exploring these areas.
I wanted to get a picture of Teri with the arch in the background. I ended up lying on the ground and shooting upward. So artistic!!
Next - Our final destination of the morning, Lava Falls.