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|
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.