Thursday, May 26, 2016

Carla Kerr and Friends from The Netherlands Explore Carrizozo and the Malpais

Monday, May 16, 2016

Carla, Eveline and Gerrit drove to just beyond Carrizozo, New Mexico to the Malpais "Valley of Fires" National Park. The wind was blowing as only it can in New Mexico, but we managed to walk the entire 2/3 of a mile along the trail above the Malpais. There are so many desert plants and flowers that are fascinating and colorful. At one point, I even spotted a ground squirrel but he was too fast for my camera.

The lava did not come from a volcano, but rather from fissures in the earth's crust about 5,000 years ago and filled this valley with lava. The pictures will tell a story of the wild beauty of this area far better than I so here goes.

Gerrit and Eveline on the beginning of the raised trail
Lava, various cacti and scrub bushes
At 13 different points along the raised trail, there are descriptive signs pointing out what to look for
This lava has the Hawaiian name of pahoehoe
The lava in this picture has the Hawaiian name of 'a'a
Prickly pear cactus in bloom
A gas fissure and barrel cactus blooming
Apache paint brush plant
Joshua Tree which grows very slowly, loves lava and this one is probably about 400 years old
Another shot of the same Joshua Tree
More barrel cactus in bloom
More pahoehoe lava
Pretty pink flowers growing among the prickly pear cactus
Eveline and Gerrit almost back to the top
We drove back into Carrizozo and had lunch at the Four Winds Restaurant. The food was well prepared and the waitress was very attentive. The restaurant is very clean and has been on this spot for many years. After lunch, we drove to 12th Street and explored some art galleries and a photography studio. It was time to drive the 60 miles back to Alamogordo. Eveline and Gerrit had to return to the hotel and pack so they could leave early the next morning to drive to the airport in El Paso, Texas, about 90 miles away.

I think they thoroughly enjoyed their visit. One day, they went on their own to the White Sands Monument and had a grand time meeting other tourists there and visiting with the Park Rangers. They returned that evening for the guided moonlight walk as well. They were well impressed with the State of New Mexico as far as they were able to explore. Maybe they will decide to come again and explore a different area of our beautiful state. Perhaps when it isn't quite so windy!

This is all I have to say for now.

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