Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday, April, 18

It was a beautiful day, warm with just a little wind in the afternoon.

We left the RV around 10:45 and drove to Sitting Bull Falls.
To get there you drive 6 miles south from Carlsbad to Dark Canyon Rd, then turn right (west) and go 21.7 miles to Highway 137, turn left (south) go 2.6 miles, turn right at forest rd. 276 and follow it through some nice canyon country to the end, at the parking lot for Sitting Bull Falls.
While driving through these canyons I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these mountains are hollow like the Carlsbad Caverns but just don’t have an entrance. They are all geologically the same as the ones where the caverns are and there are indeed many caves in the area.

There is a paved trail to the bottom of the falls and another primitive trail to the top of the falls. After all the walking I did yesterday I opted for the paved trail. It was only about 100 yards but that was enough. The falls are the highest in New Mexico, 130 ft. There isn’t a lot of water falling but they were pretty none the less.

According to what I read on the placard at the viewing deck, the material of the rock is called “Tufa” and is apparently precipitated from the chemicals in the water. According to the placard, in a million years or so the whole valley will be filled in with Tufa.
If I remember correctly the towers in Mono lake are also called “Tufa”.
In one spot the Tufa has created the likeness of a face.

There is on one side of the creek what looks like a half pipe where the water has eroded the rock.

After leaving the falls we found a jeep trail that I couldn’t resist and followed it to its end at the edge of a canyon.

From there we went back to highway 137 and followed it south for sixteen and a half miles until I saw another dirt road that I had to check out. It turned out to be a loop that went down into a nicely forested area with Juniper, Short Needle Pines, Scrub Oak.

Deeper in the canyon, there were also, large Cedar’s and Ponderosa Pine.
If the creeks had had water in them it would have felt like we were in the Sierra’s.
It was the first forest we have seen since leaving California and it was quite refreshing to be in the trees.
The whole day was very nice and we were glad we took the rides we did.

We got back to the Park at 4:45
Around 6:00 we went to “Rojas Mexican Grill” for dinner.
The food was good but Patti’s Fajitas were not very warm so she wasn’t to happy with it.

Total trip miles = 126
Trip Time = 7 hrs.
No GPS data this time.

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