Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mr. Spock, set the landscape on stun

Click any image for larger version
Start of Day
The day started in Santa Fe, with one lone cloud hanging out over the mountains on the east.
There was a great deal of construction down the center of I-25. Having gone thru far too much road construction everywhere, it took a while to realize it wasn't road improvement, they were building rail down the center.
I25 Rail
I25 Rail Construction
And of course, the one lone cloud.
Coming back into Albuquerque, early in the day, I couldn't get any decent shots of the color of the land. But Albuquerque itself believes in color,
(junction of I-25 and I-40, every piece had this brilliant blue stripe)
I25 I40 Interchange
and shapes.
Overpass Art1
Overpass Art2
Sometimes Route 66 would be parallel to I-40, sometimes wandering off over the landscape to pop up somewhere else. Some sections still remain.
The Mother Road
This old steel-truss bridge was in unbelievably good shape.
Unfortunately, it was not wide enough for more than one car to cross at a time,
Old Route 66 Bridge
And was replaced with a wider, but boring new section, before being completely replaced by Interstate 40 over there.
New Old Road
The lava fields were much more visible on this leg of the trip.
Lava Ridge
LavaFields1  LavaFields2  LavaFields3

New Mexico-Arizona Border: In sunshine this time
Coming up on the amazing border geology again, this time with the company of a freight train.
Train Across New Mexico
Looking down tracks is just as compelling a view as highways stretching into the distance.
View Down The Tracks
Viewing the cliffs in the sun this time, with all their glorious colors on display.
RedCliffs2  RedCliffs3  RedCliffs4
Being the one driving while crossing out of New Mexico, I had this... This amazing piece of landscape in the rear view mirror. Every time I looked back, I felt my brain stop working, just wanting to stare at the cliffs. This is not a good thing to do while driving, and I felt very relieved when I finally crossed over a hill and could no longer see it.
New Mexico Border

Somebody had it in for me, however. Having missed the Painted Desert on the way out, we picked it up on the way back.
Petrified Forest Official Sign
Nothing prepared me for the problem of running out of adjectives.
I had an idea what was coming. But can you imaging the expressions on the faces of the first explorers who had never seen this land before, traveling across country that looked like this:
Arizona Surprise
And getting this!
Painted Desert1
Landscape on Stun!
How do you prepare for running out of adjectives? Glorious. Awesome. Unbelievable. Stunning. I think I was seriously stuck on stunned.
Followed closely by *gasp*
Painted Desert2
Painted Desert3
Painted Desert4  Painted Desert5  Painted Desert6
A lot of rock formations show their layers on a slant, as the earth twists and deforms to create mountains. The amazing Chinle Formation runs the gamut from reds to grays, all in relatively horizontal stripes.
Painted Desert7
Painted Desert8  Painted Desert9  Painted Desert10
Adjective Generator, She be broke
When I got to the "Blue Mesa," I realized my adjective generator had completely broken down. I was pretty much left with stunned.
And the ever descriptive *gasp*
Blue Mesa
Painted Blue1  Painted Blue2  Painted Blue3
There is water in this desert
Painted Desert Water
Newspaper Rock: Petroglyphs. They look better if you view the larger image and then magnify the markings on the dark rock.
Newspaper Rock
When this wash was first discovered, it full of petrified wood. It was carried away by the truck-load, blasted for the amethysts and quartz within, vanished to be used for doorstops. It is estimated that one ton of petrified wood is stolen from the Petrified Forest every year, even though there are legitimate places to buy it outside the National Park. At one time, this was was full. Now, this is all that remains here.
Missing Wood
There are still scattered pockets of petrified wood throughout the park
Petrified Logs
And around the museum
Petrified Wood1
Petrified Wood2  Petrified Wood3   Petrified Wood4
On some pieces,you can still see the grain of the wood
Petrified Wood5
Petrified Wood6  Petrified Wood7
Life will find toe-holds in any pocket that will hold dirt
Petrified Wood8
All that's left is dusk over the Colorado Plateau, and on into Flagstaff for the night.
Arizona Dusk

Return to top  ^^    Next in series  >>

No comments: