Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Saturday, December 14, 2013

the Wonderland of Rocks

Happy Holidays,
 Yeah I know, posts are starting to only be once per week but as busy as everybody is at this time of year, we think that's enough. You really don't want to read about someone grocery shopping or eating out at Mc Ds, right?
 But when we do something cool we want to share it. This week we drove to the Chiricahua National Monument. Ooh- another stamp for Wendy's book and what a great place.
 It is located 35 miles south of I10 out of Wilcox, for us it was about a 80 mile drive.
 We got a early start heading out at 8:00am, well that is early for us.)  As we drove down we came into some thick fog in Wilcox. As we drove on we then looked at the trucks outdoor thermometer and it had dropped from 42 to 27. What in the world? We drove for about 10 miles in the fog then just as fast as it appeared it was gone. We then found ourselves in a very tall grassland. You could see the mountains in the distance and the grassland rolled flatly up to them.
  The Chiricahua is known as The Land of Standing Rocks. It was established a monument in 1924.  It is a sky island formed from volcanic eruptions 27 million years ago. This is a amazing place as plants and animals from for ecosystems meet here. Northern slopes offer Ponderosa and Douglas fir- typical of the Rocky Mountains. Sunny southern slopes have Apache Pine and Mexican pinyon pine. Cactus as prickly pear and stool from the Sonoran Desert. Lichens of bright green adorn rock pinnacles along with ferns in shaded areas.
 Animals as whitetail deer, Chiricahua fox squirrel, coatimundi and 3 types of skunks. It is also a birders paradise for the many different species.
Mexican jay
 But the biggest spectacle of all is the rocks. Large groups of columns, tall pinnacles, and numerous balancing rocks. Not just a few but hundreds.
 
 There are some nice hiking trails thanks to the work of the CCC in mid to late '30s. We chose the Echo Canyon loop trail, a 3-1/5 mile hike through spectacular rock formations into Echo Park and back up. We bundled up a bit as it was only 38 degrees when we started out. And thanks goodness Wendy threw in our gloves just in case. But the sun warmed us and when not in the wind it felt nice
Our necks were literally sore from looking up at the stone monuments all around. As we walked along we thought this is exactly what we wanted in our lives. Seeing and exploring some little known gems of places. We are truly blessed and there is so much more.  

2 comments:

  1. Amazing pictures! Funny to realize how cold it gets in the desert.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great hike through the rocks!

    ReplyDelete