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!

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