Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gallons Of Quartz

…or is that quarts by the gallon?

I have been hiking east of the Caballo State Park, on BLM lands with a significant mining presence, past and present.  It is easy to see why.

I know little about rocks and minerals.  There are a few I recognize.  What I see out there are light grey, tan, red and red-brown granites forming bedrock, with some rocks that might be a black granite cropping up every now and then.  What is very noticeable is the abundance of milky or white quartz.

Out there one can see big chunks like this one.

There are lots of mixed contrasts like this - a black granite-like rock next to milky quartz.

The most remarkable thing is how much is sitting on the surface out there.

All of those white rocks are milky quartz.  Gallons and gallons of quartz...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting High In New Mexico

Our neighbor to the north, Colorado, has legalized recreational marijuana use.  New Mexico is talking about following suit.

It doesn't matter to me.  I have my own ways of getting high.

I walked across the Rio (not so) Grande and up a dry wash to a trail that leads to the high country.  In the photo, to the left of center is a rock outcrop, the top of which I hiked to, a few days ago.

That was cool, but I really wanted to get to the ridge that you can see beyond it.

Today I returned.  From behind that rock outcrop, the rugged terrain to the north is revealed.

As I moved up the slope, the view behind me overtopped the outcrop.

Finally, I stood on the ridge, 800 feet above the campground.

What goes up, must come down.  I had been dealing with a lot of loose rock on the way up and preferred not to descend that way.  Along the ridge to the south was a route that would probably bring me to a mining trail, but there was a fence there.  Staying on my side of the fence would put me on sloping, loose rock above cliffs.  I headed north.

The topography was dramatic, but at least I was on tight rock in the critical areas.

I really took my time working my way down.

What a satisfying day!