We begin this morning exactly how we ended last night, with Susan pouring over tax forms and me trying to focus on work. Neither is going well. We decide that Susan will file an extension later today (how hard can that be?) and I will set work aside for awhile so we can go for “a walk.”
Susan is thinking an hour stroll around the neighborhood. I am thinking she should take me to the odd rock formations she told me about yesterday.
Soon we are on the road, headed for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
We leave the freeway and turn at the massive (and massively inefficient) Cochiti dam (apparently it leaks if filled very full).
It is a wonderful isolated place, a vast and empty-looking landscape with a few really weird rock formations.
Since Susan has never done so before, we decide to start our visit with the 4 mile drive to the Veterans Memorial Overlook.
Susan had asked the young man at the gate about the road to the overlook and we were told that, while we would need to judge the road for ourselves, he just took his own sedan out there a few days ago without any difficulty. We get about 200 yards down the road before being confronted with a rapidly flowing stream.
The answer is clearly no.
Our scenic drive has come to an end and it is time to head back to the hiking trail.
From the trail we can see a few people high up at the top of one of the mesas. She explains that the trail goes there, but we will turn around before we climb that high.
The canyon trail is only 1.5 miles from the parking lot to the top of the mesa 630 feet above us, but the landscape changes dramatically over that short distance, from a traditional canyon with a few junipers and pines to a series of narrow slots that end in a swirl of rock where it opens out along the slope of the mesa before you start the climb up.