29 January 2011
My second trip I after arriving in New Mexico five years ago was to Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument north of Albuquerque.
Back then my camera was a primitive digital with 2005 technology and something like 1.8 megapixels... scoff!
Also, I had just started hiking when the skies went from cloudy to dark and I could tell a snow storm was coming so I turned back, not even half way.
Today was picture perfect in the upper 50s. I could not have asked for a better day. I might also mention that the gravel road to Tent Rocks is now PAVED!!
The area owes it unusual geography to the volcanic past of northern New Mexico. Volcanic rock and ash have eroded leaving spires throughout Slot Canyon.
If you are planning a trip, try and go in cool weather. Cold weather keeps snakes and other critters away. I didn't see one bug on the hike.
There was; however, snow and ice in the crevices so make sure you wear good shoes if visiting in winter/early spring.
Valley of the Pe... nah.. too easy...
If you are a low-lander [from below say...2000 feet] this could be very strenuous on you. Make sure you take water with you, even in winter, and I repeat: GOOD HIKING SHOES! I would also recommend possibly eating a good breakfast, those carbohydrates come in handy on a hike like this, you will need your strength on the last stretch.
Your reward should you reach the 6400 ft summit is a breathtaking view for miles and miles -- I could see the snow capped Sangre de Cristo mountains northeast of Santa Fe.
Tomorrow I journey further north.