Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tent Rocks

The Earth is just astonishing. I mean, I've been a lot of places, so I feel like I should've seen all the different types of landscapes found on the earth, but NO! It's constantly surprising me with something new, and I had never even heard of Tent Rocks before, much less ever seen anything like them.

After a short hike through a forested area, we came to the opening of the slot canyon, which eventually leads to the top of the bluff. This is where things started to get interesting.

I'm all like... what in the world? How did those form?

Some crazy weird erosion took place here.

At the end of the slot canyon, we were greeted by these three funky formations. Super cool!

This is where the littlest kids couldn't take anymore, so I had to turn back with them while the others headed to the top of the bluff. My little man wasn't feeling well that day, and I was amazed he made it as far as he did.

Crazy big boulder right in the path.

Whenever I'm in a slot canyon, I try to remember to look up.

It took several takes to get GoPro footage of me walking through these narrows without encountering any other hikers. I'm collecting it for my "2017 Pathways" time lapse video of my adventures this year. After all, we had extra time since the others were far behind us.

And while I was waiting for the others, there was also time for a selfie!

Finally, some of the girls came racing around the corner.

By the time the rest of the group came, the perfect lighting in the canyon had been ruined by direct sunlight. Oh well, she did a cute pose for me anyway.

The end.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Enchantment of the Bisti

They say New Mexico is the land of enchantment. Well, now that I have driven that state from top to bottom, I can say it's not too terribly interesting to look at, but there are a few pockets of enchantment tucked in the corners here and there that are really amazing. Bisti Badlands was one of them.

After driving a few miles on a dirt road, you come to a parking lot with a sign, and that's basically it. No restrooms, no water, and no trail. It's truly a wilderness experience, and it starts with a long walk through a boring wash. The kids could not have been more bored with it, and they constantly pestered us with, "When can we go home?" and, "Are we going back to the car yet?" Then we found our first rock formation, and it gave us a little taste of what was to follow.

Led by GPS and a low quality map, we set out to find the awesome formations we had seen in pictures. Apparently, the scale in our imaginations was not the same as reality, and so we were looking for enormous formations when in reality they were probably quite small. During our search, we came across a really cool place I like to call, "Rock Playground."

By that time, the smallest kids were running out of steam, so my friend took them back to the car while I took the older kids and continued exploring. One of the first things we found after parting ways was this cool tunnel. Man, they really missed out.

There I am between two funky formations.

As we crossed back into the main wash, we found lots of rocks perched high on top of eroded columns. It really looked like an alien planet.

Cemented in the eroded layers were some ancient petrified logs.

There were nooks and crannies of strange formations everywhere we turned, and yet no two were alike.

This formation was called "Cracked Eggs."

To give you an idea how the scale in this eerie landscape can be deceiving, look at this magnificent arch.

And here's a giant girl looking through it! Okay, maybe it was a tiny arch.

One has to wonder how that rock stays perched up there.

The shapes were weird and endless. It took me so long to walk out of there because I was so fascinated by all the formations I came upon.

Here I found a sea turtle.

And a bird.

And even a sombrero!

What a cool place to visit!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Best Kind of Snow Day

I was afraid it was too late in the season for a fun day in the snow, but there was some snow forecast for that weekend, so we decided to take a chance.

When we got there, we were happy to find that there was snow, even if it was a little thin! Time to load up the sled!

It snowed a lot while we were there.

Say goodbye to this sled... they are about to hit a bump at bottom that will bust a couple holes in the bottom of the sled (it's not like some big heavy dude is riding it or anything). We kept using it after that, but it was a lot slower because those holes were like brakes all the way down.

The kids looked in the broken sled pile for extra sleds, so that's why our sleds all look cracked and broken. They are!

Russ decided to see if he could use a sled for a snowboard.

Somebody left a play pool at the top of the hill, and the kids soon found out why it was abandoned. It had crazy good traction and would not budge!

So fun for a day, but so glad to go back home to the valley.