Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ojito Wilderness Area

I have been terrible about blogposts since I have discovered the ease of Facebook. Since moving to New Mexico we have been busy actually doing things and nothing is fucked up so things aren't as humorous to write about! So what have we been doing? Lots of things. The main things are hiking, exploring the state, raising chickens, doing lapidary work (grinding stones) and I have started learning to work in silver.

This post is about one of our little hikes. The Ojito Wilderness Area is one of the many many hiking/biking areas an hour or so away. It is out near San Ysidro in the Cabezon area. We have been out that way many times and even though areas are only mere miles from each other they can be hugely different landscapes. We had visited this area before but it was in the snow and we wanted to see it without snow. One of the features is the hoodoos which are only in a small area and no where else out this way. Very interesting. I have become enamored with New Mexico skies, churches, ruins and twisted trees. Here are some of the twisted trees we encountered.



Besides the trees themselves (which are ancient) I love shadows of things. With the bright light here I was thinking of a series of "anti" things - just the shadows...not the actual things themselves. A non-portfolio of sorts.

Beside the twisted trees there are hoodoos which are formations of dissimilar materials that erode differently and make it look like rocks are balancing on other rocks etc etc. Very cool stuff. Bisti Wilderness is a major hoodoo area we have not visited yet so we found these which are closer to home.



We finished up with the hoodoos and drove over to a dinosaur trail. A dinosaur skeleton was found and removed from the end of the trail a few years ago I believe. We didn't see any evidence of the dig but did find some petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are ALL over the state by the thousands. We encounter them everywhere!



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Caving again, Chiricahua Crystal Cave

Its been a while since our last blog post so here we go.

Scott Christenson, chairman of the Sandia Grotto graciously led a grotto trip to the Chiricahua Crystal Cave.  Thank you Scott!  Not only did he lead the trip but he picked up the key making he and Sam's drive 8 hours.

I'll keep it short.  It was fun and hard!  We were all very sore after 8 hours in the cave.  It was Type 2 fun.  The kind of fun that gets better when your done.  We hurt.  It was a sporty cave with many chances of falling to your death if you screwed up but they were easy rock climbs/stemming.  We went to the bottom, Scott opened the second gate, an amazing feat to get through with one bar remaining.  Only Katrina could have joined him if he did not remove the second bar.  We made it to the Pelican room in about 3 hours.

Katrina and I met Scott C, Sam, Michelle, and Scott O at in Rodeo, NM 6 hours from here. We got up at 7:30AM and leisurely got ready for the day.  We drove into the stunning mountains a 1/2 an hour away and parked.  A short hike up to the cave gate was scenic.  

No vertical gear needed but hand lines in a few places would be nice.  If your a decent rock climber this is no problem.  There was not much belly crawling but there was a lot of squeezing at funny angles.  Rout finding was tricky but Scott did an amazing job!

The cave was different because it was like being in a geode.  There were Quarts crystals all over the calcite walls.  Something we never saw in PR.

We could have gone back Saturday morning but we were so sore that no body did!  Instead we drove home taking a detour through Silver City and the Gila forest.

Below are a bunch of pictures.

Scotts signing one cave register.