Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours
sabotlours

Bear's Wilderness Adventure

A co-worker and I were talking last year about how growing old sucks. We both used to have our rigs packed up and ready to go on Fridays. As soon as work was over we would hit the mountains or deserts. We would both stay out as long as possible, coming home late Sunday afternoon with just enough time to get a few chores done before getting ready to face the week ahead. Now we would rather sleep in on Saturday, have breakfast on the patio, and do chores. Oh! Those good old days! I decided that I would kick myself in the ass and get out and enjoy nature. My choice of location was the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area. This area has intrigued me for years, but never went there. It's about 2 hours to the NW of ABQ in the same general area as Chaco Canyon. Outside of an old road, there are no trails. You are free to roam around and explore. My general plan was to hike to an arroyo, follow it to its headwater, and then cross over the drainage divide into another arroyo which would take me back to the car. I figured the hike would be about 5-6 miles. Of course Mesa would be joining me.

The wilderness area's focus are badlands of highly erodible mudstone/siltstone just like Badlands National Park in S. Dakota. I didn't want to rely on technology, but the barren terrain made using a GPS a necessity. At one point I decided that I would get "deliberately lost" and not concentrate on knowing where I was at every single moment. I would rather run around the hills and explore small gullies and simply concentrate on where was north and east. It would be pretty hard to get seriously lost since there were roads in those directions only a couple of miles away. We just watched "The Martian" the other day and the landscape certainly reminded me of being on another planet. The area is known for producing dinosaur fossils, so I kept my eyes open. There certainly was a lot of petrified wood all over the place. I also found some hydrologic oddities. As I said, the sediments are highly erodible. I walked up some gullies that were maybe 6' wide but with 15-20' sides. Slumps were common. In some places the gully was dammed, but the water simply flowed into the hillside and formed a little tunnel around the blockage. I thought that was pretty cool. Here are a few pics.

New Mexico or Mars?
bisti2.jpg

A hoodoo! These were fairly common. A hard rock forms a cap which protects the soft sediments underneath. Soon erosion will catch up and the rock will fall.
hoodoo.jpg

These rocks much be rich in manganese to be so black
bisti1.jpg
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