09 July 2013

New Mexico Backcountry

Today’s blog post features photographs that Jim Baker took en route to the locations he described in last Friday’s guest travelogue, Ghost Towns, New Mexico. Jim notes that the pleasures of driving to these destinations include the scenery and solitude along the way. That’s certainly captured in his photographs.
 
Driving north to Riley ghost town--Gallinas Mountains on left;
Sierra Ladrones in back.
Ladron is thief in Spanish, and the
range once hid marauding Indian raiders and later outlaws.
The Rio Salado, a tributary of the Rio Grande, must be forded
to get to Riley. This was a rare day of threatening weather.
The drive to La Liendre ghost town is spectacular--a narrow road
benched into an escarpment, brooding mesas in the background.
The ghost town La Liendre (Spanish for "the nits") sits on a bluff
overlooking the Rio Gallinas. It was fall and the cottonwoods were
turning. The road to the river ford can be seen in the distance.

Were you aware that the National Merchant Marine and Military
Cemetery is in New Mexico? There's a logical reason for locating
here, but you can research that. (Hint: It’s at Fort Stanton.)
New Mexico abounds in semi-ghost towns, where a few residents
hold on to an otherwise abandoned town. Folsom is such a place.

I met some residents of the Folsom suburbs--pronghorns.
Capulin Volcano National Monument (left) is an extinct cinder cone,
jutting from the plain. Like many of New Mexico’s national sites,
Capulin receives few visitors. (Fort Union, the largest 19th century fort in the region, is the least visited national monument in the US.)
A view from the top of the near perfect crater of
the Capulin Volcano National Monument.
The San Lorenzo Canyon Recreational Area offers incredible rock
formations. For scale, that’s my truck at the end of a box canyon.
In my wandering, I try to go until the canyon boxes out,
to ghost towns and vacant places, to the end of the road.


I hope you enjoyed Jim Baker’s tour of ghost towns and other special places in New Mexico. I extend my sincere thanks to Jim and my best wishes to keep on truckin’. Thanks for stopping by.



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