Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bisti Badlands, NM

About 30 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico in the northwest corner lie the Bisti (BIS-tie) Badlands, part of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness managed by the BLM and bordered by Navajo land.  After about a one-mile hike from the Bisti Wilderness parking lot, we find strange hoodoos and caprock sitting atop rutted clay mounds as well as abundant petrified trees in various stages of decay.  There are no specific trails, so we follow one interesting hoodoo to the next, being careful to keep an eye on our GPS which will guide us back.  The Bisti Wash leading back to the parking lot is dry, but - and here's what surprises us the most - there are mosquitos everywhere!  When I stop to slap Brad on the head (to kill a mosquito, of course), five more buzz towards him!  I guess the recent rains have given rise to a new generation of this annoying pest.

We don't drive the 20 miles to the De-Na-Zin Wilderness as we are low on fuel (there were no gas stations between the interstate and here!) and we still have to get the trailer to Farmington; plus we're not encouraged that we'll find much different there.  So perhaps another year.
These tiny hoodoos are miniatures of the bigger ones we see later on our hike. How do you like my new hat?
Marilyn walking through a boulder field - sandstone rocks left sitting where they landed when the clay that used to be beneath them eroded away.
A very colourful new friend for Grady - not really. This guy was brilliant green and yellow, and just finishing shedding - notice the scale on his tail.
Angel wings - some of the strange shapes of these hoodoos.
Part of a large group of hoodoos, just before sunset.
Brad surrounded by petrified wood.
This ancient tree trunk is now stone!

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