Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Labor Day


John and I both had Labor Day off - so we went out for a ride and found some of the most beautiful land. The attached link is to a PDF brochure I found on the internet this morning of the area we were in. It has a map. If you look at the inset map, you can see Albuquerque, with Bernalillo to the north. Rio Rancho (home) is about halfway between the two. From our house to the Ojito (Oh He Toe) Wilderness is less than 30 miles.

Because we were on the motorcycle (on/off road) we had the ability to follow many of the smaller near-washed out dirt roads. Having the GPS was essential. The land goes on and on seemingly forever. It can be easy to get turned around and lose perspective. The sun isn't much help when its right overhead.

The pictures I've posted are all from one stop we made. If I'd taken all the pictures I wanted to, we'd still be out wandering in the desert. This particular area is called Mesa Blanco - or White Lands - after the gypsum rich white sandstone in the area. The sand here is white like Florida beach sand. Its really quite amazing. Less than a mile away the soil is deep rust red. Some areas in the Ojito Wilderness are black sanded - mostly volcanic, others a yellow - due to high sulfur content.

There are many wonderful places to camp and explore. Everywhere you turn there is another path, another adventure. Its not a wonder people get lost out here. You get so excited about seeing what is beyond the next ridge, following the next path, chasing down a view, looking for fossils... I look forward to coming back another time.

Everywhere we went we saw just incredible things - cows and horses grazing, towering rock formations, flood carved trenches and canyons, blooming desert plants, circling hawks and so much more. Although it was hot in the direct sun, the shade was very pleasant. You could almost call it a crisp day. Unfortunately, there was a threat of thunderstorms, so we kept an eye on the skies, and headed home once we saw impending rain storms approaching. In the end, we never got caught in the rain.