Volcanoes

Purple Aster amongst desert brush aside Paseo de la Mesa Trail

Purple Aster amongst desert brush aside Paseo de la Mesa Trail

This afternoon we drove to Albuquerque’s west side and walked along the basalt escarpment and through Volcano Park in Petroglyph National Monument.  The Monument and West Mesa Open Space place limits on development not too far up from the river.  Out here on the high West Mesa in the wide open desert, the space and stark contrast to the forested mountains high above Albuquerque and lush riparian ecosystem within it are startling.  The earth opens to sky.

Sansai Photography at work in the field

Sansai Photography at work in the field

The Sandia ranging above Albuquerque and orange green band of the river running through it

The Sandia ranging above Albuquerque and orange green band of Bosque forest along the river running through it

the north shoulder of the Sandia opens to the big country rolling around the river

the north shoulder of the Sandia opens to the rift valley lands rolling off to the Jemez and Sangre de Cristos

big spaces seems to cover this country

big space seems to cover this country

Taos, New Mexico’s plateau lends a sense of enormous space, but here in Albuquerque the views are outstanding as well and surprisingly expansive.  There is nothing diminishing about this fine country.  It is an interesting endeavor to think of a comparable city life that fits into this landscape without constraining it.

Desert Views.  Nothing escapes from the sun out here.

Desert Views. Nothing escapes from the sun out here.

when you get out of the city here you really get out

When you get out of the city here you really get out.  This is an important element in the flavor of Albuquerque.

 

We walked on sand and cinder trails meandering between the volcanoes.  There are five volcanoes, tips of the subterranean fire

We walked on sand and cinder strewn trails meandering amongst volcanoes. There are five volcanoes, ancient tips telling of the subterranean fire

Volcano Park

Volcano Park

We took interstate 40 across town and exited on Atrisco Vista Boulevard to reach Volcano Park.  They have repaved Atrisco Vista Boulevard and included sweet bike lanes.  It would be a great place to come train on a time trial bike.  Maybe ride out here on Central Ave. or Rio Bravo Blvd.

 

patterns on the land

patterns on the land

trail

trail

rolling rock

rolling rock

rock gaurdians

rock guardians

mosaic

mosaic

Everything at Petroglyph closes at 5pm, so we had to hurry back to our car.  The National Park ranger was there locking the bathrooms and waiting for us to go.  We went a little further down the road to the paved Paseo de la Mesa Trail, which is City Open Space.  This would be a good place to observe a moon or sunrise, the stars, or the balloon fiesta.

2014.10.31 volcanoes 097

 

the desert vegetation likes the way cracks in pavement pool water

the desert vegetation likes the way cracks in pavement pool water and shade

opening up to big sky

opening up to big sky

Reno, Flagstaff, now here.  Wow!  As a kid in Maryland, then Ohio, then Upstate New York, I never would have imagined

Reno, Flagstaff, now here. Wow! As a kid in Maryland, then Ohio, then Upstate New York, I never would have imagined

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