Monday, April 11, 2016

New Mexico: Jemez Falls, Bandelier, Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks

On Monday, we did the hike to Jemez Falls.  The hike itself was only a 1/4 mile each way...however, because the campground was closed where you would normally begin the hike...we had about a mile walk to get to the beginning of the hike.  It was pretty and we saw squirrels and birds.  The kids hoped to see deer or elk but we didn't.  The falls were small but very pretty.

Then we drove to Bandelier.  Bandelier was one of my favorite places. (I will apologize now for the picture overload.  But I seriously LOVED this place!)  So much history. 

Bandelier is amazing.  Human history in this area began around 10,000 years ago. At that time, the people were nomadic and didn't build permanent structures.
 Then around 1150, the ancient Pueblo people began to build their homes right into the cliffs here.  You can see kivas and long houses.  There are petroglyphs.  There are ladders so you can climb up into some of the structures.  It's simply breathtaking and incredible.

Isn't it amazing?

It's simply breathtaking!

 To reach the Alcove House, you have to climb several steep ladders.  It is 140 feet above the canyon floor.  I am scared of heights and must admit that it was fairly terrifying to me to climb so high.  It was scary for Ella as well.  But we all made the climb.    To see an incredible photo and read a little more about the Alcove House, click here.

As we made it almost back to the Visitor Center at the end of the long walk/climb, we saw several deer! 

Kasha Katuwe tent rocks are cone shaped tent rock formations. They were formed from volcanic eruptions about 6-7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits that were over 1,000 feet thick.  Explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (which are rock fragments).   Hot gases blasted down slopes in pyroclastic flows.  They are beautiful.

Ella got dehydrated at Bandelier, I think.  She had a bad headache most of the time we drove from Bandelier to Kasha Katuwe.  She and I walked for about 5 minutes, but she was miserable.  So Gabby and Michelle went with Annette and her kids to see as much as they could and Ella and I headed back to the car.  She felt really bad...she cried and apologized repeatedly for ruining my experience.  But it was fine and it was nice to spend a few minutes alone with her.

After Kasha Katuwe, we had a long (3 hour) drive to our campsite at Santa Rosa.  We ate snacks in the car because by the time we got there, it was dark and we set up camp and went to bed.  Long, but truly incredible day!!