Sunday, May 22, 2005

Still Driving West

I’ll be on the interstate again in a few minutes. A few minutes after I get moving again, that is! I have to take a nap! Yesterday it was rain. Today it is wind.

I am pulled off by the side of the road to have myself a bit of a rest. All the way out of Dalhart, Texas my little car has been bouncing in the wind. It is tough driving. I am not sure that my sleep last night was as sound as I would have liked either. I have made two nap stops so far and will probably need another before I get home! Don’t get me wrong. I still love driving and would do so every chance I get. I have been listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire since yesterday afternoon. I am enjoying it!

Northwest New Mexico
I stopped at a turn-out because another book that I have recently read (The Roadside Geology of Colorado) has explained to me what I am looking at. Yes, I know… I am in New Mexico and not Colorado, but the geology does not end at the state line! When I moved to Colorado ten years ago, it was fascinating to learn how what I was seeing around me was brought into being. I now recognize the conical mountains in the distance (just visible beyond the ridge) as being volcanic (or pre-volcanic) in origin. Much like Capulin to the east and a little south, and the Sangre De Christos to the west, these mountains were pushed-up by rising magma.

The further evidence for this is easily seen in the huge black boulders lying in the field in the foreground. Their rough, foamy structure reveals them to be volcanic lava that cooled after being thrown out of one of the many volcanoes that litter the landscape in this area. The low ridge you see in the mid-ground is pediment of the old mountain range that was protected from eroding away with the rest of the valley by a slightly more resistant top which is probably aggregate from previous eruption or deposit. Much like the Castle Rock aggregate to the north of Raton Pass.

There is a much smaller cone-shaped off of I-25 south of Fountain that is an ancient calcium deposit which was deposited around a hot-water vent that was under water when this area was all under a shallow inland sea.

But enough of the geology lesson…

Having passed what I hope to be the last of the weather I will have, it is time to finish my pop, walk the dog and then get some lunch in Raton. I hope to be home in three hours if the weather holds.

I hope your day is going well, wherever you are!

Don Bergquist – Somewhere in Northern New Mexico – 22, May, 2005

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