Sunday, August 11, 2013

Los Alamos, New Mexico and the Jemez Mountains

Thanks to my friends, Pat and Kevin, I saw everything in Los Alamos. I was pleasantly surprised by its small-town atmosphere and its WOWWIE WOW scenery. Also its library book sale where I found three books I've been looking for. 

Pat and Kevin have great friends; they were very warm and welcoming to me. An evening in a hot tub - watching shooting stars in the dark New Mexico night and drinking wine - was a special highlight. Thanks, Jeannie!


Golgotha? Or just some skull place?

Tsankawi (say "SAAN quay")

You're looking at the ladder that stopped my hike. I made it to the second rung, thank you very much.


The Rio Grande, north of where we start mocking it.





Kevin gave me a geology lesson here, which I will now pass along to you. About 1.25 million years, a nearby volcano erupted, shooting lava rock as far as Kansas. Some stayed here and became scenery. Since we were talking about it, he said Let's go to the caldera! 

Valles Caldera

It's like this: a volcano gets fired up and erupts, then it collapses on itself and has a beer. One and a quarter million years later, elk frolic and people camp. All is forgiven.


Fenton Lake State Park

This is Fenton.



Jemez Mountains looking dapper.

Jemez ("HAY mez") Springs

We had lunch at Highway 4 Café. They knew what I meant by "vegan," which always makes me feel like I'm not so alone. I had a fairly delicious sweet potato burrito. Among the three of us there were three different dietary requirements, and they managed to work with all of them. No-frills dining.


Do not adjust your set.

Soda Dam. It's not how it sounds - bring your own beverage.

From there I headed toward Datil (where?) and my friends, Betty and John. This is another small and welcoming community. We're cooking up some mischief here. Details to follow ... maybe.


The Land Porcelain Forgot




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30 comments:

Laura said...

Your posts make me smile. Thanks. :)

JO said...

Great pictures. Love the skull face.

Sue Soaring Sun said...

You went to some of my favorite places! I loved the Caldera, Jemez Springs, Highway 4 Cafe, Fenton Lake, all of it. We spent several days in this area on vacation last year. There are wonderful Forest Service campgrounds all along Highway 4. Such a beautiful area.

Donna K said...

Must be getting close to fall - the mountains are turning color already!! Purdy pictures.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Now that is geology history I can understand!

Karen Snyder said...

I'm so glad you backtracked and hit those spots I mentioned! It's been too many years since I last saw that, so thanks for the great photos.

Pssst, I think Fenton just might be a lady Mallard, so a name adjustment may be required. :)

klbexplores said...

What a eclectic and scenic journey you had. Definitely a journey I would like to take. Amazing how many toilets make there way into blogland.

Brenda A. said...

Love the skull place. Second rung on the ladder? Sounds about right to me. That's as far as I go before obsessive fear of falling kicks in. It's not the height mind you. I have zero fear of being up high (in fact I rather enjoy it). It's just things like ladders that give me the willies.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're going back to Datil & we STILL aren't there! (At least we're in Montana & not Oklahoma...) Glad you're enjoying our beautiful state of NM. Lots of memories of Harley rides with friends through the Jemez Mtn;, Indian bread stands in the red rock between San Ysidro & Jemez Springs; visits to Bandelier & Los Alamos; camping, Dave's hunting trips, & Xmas tree-cutting in the mountains between Fenton Lake & La Cueva. I even hurtled myself through Soda Dam with a niece a LONG time ago (like 30 years!).

Renee

Lynda Bogart Stilley said...

The ladder photo looks like Bandolier, near Los Alamos. Did you get to Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks? Spectacular area...

SwankieWheels said...

yep... I say deDuck is female too... Fentonia???

Good Luck Duck said...

Alas, Lynda, i haven't yet gotten to Tent Rocks, but maybe that's in the cards for the next few weeks. Are those the ones near Cochiti?

Renee, I really like it here and I have friends, so I'll be returning! Maybe one of these days we'll be here at the same time!

Brenda, I can't quite tease out what kinds of highness stop me. Ladders, for sure. The Rio Grande bridge nearly stopped me, and 97 people laughed at my expression, but I made that one. No to ladders.

KarenLB, toilets are irresistible. To everyone. Maybe not babies. Or dogs. But everyone else.

KarenS, the duckess was kinda butch. Like me. AHAHAHAHA!

Chuck & Anneke, it's Geology for the Rest of Us.

Donna, I hate it when winter comes and the mountains are bare.

Sue, with the fires I was afraid I wouldn't get to see the Jemez this year. Pretty much all the day-use areas were closed, but campgrounds were open.

Thanks, Jo!

Thank you, Laura! I'm so glad. You deserve to smile!

Good Luck Duck said...

Swankie, that was a tough duck. I don't dare call her Fentonia.

Gaelyn said...

Second rung, you did good. Love your local scenery.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Tsankawi was just up the road from where I lived for a while and I hiked up to the top often. I hope you'll have a chance to give it another try ... more than worth it. The caldera is so beautiful and I miss it very much. You've been it some gorgeous territory...

SaunterAndMule said...

That skulls ape so real! I empathize with heights. I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge gripping the center rail.

Anne Chisholm said...

Thank you for the very excellent geology lesson.

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Howz the temperature? Is it hot there?

Contessa said...

Glad you aren't bored :) Enjoy.

Good Luck Duck said...

Nope, Contessa, definitely not bored!

Nickie, it's beautiful. Pleasant daytime temps (I'd say 70's, maybe low 80's). Perfect enough that I hardly thought about the temperature.

My pleasure, Anne. I like to share my knowledge.

I hear that, Saunter. Ecch. The sweaty palms, the racing heart.

Teresa, it could happen. I could rewire that irrational-fear center of my brain.

Nice, isn't it Gaelyn? I know you're not impressed with the canyons, though.

kp Catalano said...

I think the duck was named after her great grandpa Fenton but she just goes by Fens...cuz she's tough and sweet and 'fens' for herself!
k-

John and Pam (ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com) said...

Wow! Wonderful photos!! Beautiful area!

Good Luck Duck said...

LOL, k! You're absolutely right. Fenton is her middle name, but she liked it better than her first name (Daisy).

Thanks, Pam! It's beautiful, for sure.

Sherry said...

Looks like you are getting along mighty fine in some beautifuol spots with some nice folks. That Caldera picture is absolutely fantastic. All is more than forgiven. Speaking of which, I'm certainly glad D. Fenton allowed you to visit her lake. It's lovely too.

Linda said...

Best description of a volcano ever.

If you go near Santa Fe, try to visit Tesuque where the Shidoni Foundry is. That's awesome.

I used to have a penfriend in Los Alamos.

Good Luck Duck said...

Sherry, things are good. I did sweat a few bullets as D.F. approached, but she was chill.

I'll put that on my list, Linda. Thanks! What happened to your penfriend?

Tesaje said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty! You saw everything in Los Alamos? Even the super secret lab? Ancient dead volcanoes are good.

Good Luck Duck said...

I could tell you how I did it, Mary, but then ... you know.

Linda said...

GLD: We lost touch when I got divorced and moved to the United States. I pretty much stopped writing letters then.

Good Luck Duck said...

Ah, yeah. Divorce will wrinkle things up, for sure.

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