23 September 2005

City of Rocks

So we left Carlsbad, NM on the 21st and arrived in Las Cruces, NM. It was an uneventful drive, and only about 3-4 hours instead of 20-24, amazing. The park we are staying in has a wonderful view out our back window of the Organ Mountains. Bill tried to take a picture of it from our RV, but the atmosphere between our place and the mountains was a bit thick and dusty. It's been pretty warm here. The average temperature for this time of year is in the low to mid 80s, but we've been in the mid to upper 90s everyday. It's not horrible since it's so dry and there's been a nice breeze, I just have to be caregul how long I'm in the sun so I don't burn to a crisp. I've been careful, and I'm actually getting a bit of a tan. It's nice to not be blue anymore.

On Thursday the 22nd we drove out to Rock hound State Park (http://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/rock_hound/state_park.html) and climbed on the hills in 95-degree blazing sun looking for rocks. We found a lot of jasper in several different colors, some black and gray perlite, and I think…maybe some peach opal, but I’m not really sure. After sweating in the hot, hot sun, avoiding the fire ants and trying not to piss off the wasps, and coming across a scorpion carcass we stopped for lunch and decided we were done rock hounding for the day. We probably would have stayed and dug around somemore if it wasn't so hot.

From there we drove to City of Rocks State Park. (http://www.gilawilderness.com/travel/cityofrocks.htm) This is an incredible place. Millions of years ago there was a volcanic eruption 1000 times larger than Mt. Saint Helens and it left a massive volcanic rock bed. Through weathering and erosion the rocks wore down to what you see today. It really does look like a city of sorts, maybe something out of a Jim Henson movie. It was particularly cool to walk over and through these rocks that have been here for millions of years, and were once inhabited by native peoples. The sky was so amazing the day we went. The blue was so blue and the clouds had such amazing depth. City of Rocks State Park is one of those places we didn’t really know about before getting here but are glad that we decided to make the drive out to it. There is a separate grouping of rocks set away (we didn’t get pics of it) from the mass of the City that they call the Suburbs…that cracked me up.

That was it for Thursday, today we went out to White Sands National Monument, but you’ll have to wait to hear about that until I download and go through the pics.