Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Road Trip: Socorro and Catron County


Before the big snowstorm hit last night, Flat Ryan and I went with the Professional Revolutionary and another friend, to Socorro and Catron Counties in west-central New Mexico to hike around some different properties the friend was looking at. It was a great opportunity for a roadtrip before the snow began.

The Ladron fault block, topped with snow, can be seen behind the the stabilized dune field at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and the Rio Grande.

A wilderness area in the Barrel Hills in northern Socorro County, outside of Magadalena, NM.
There was much evidence of volcanism in the rocks, including a brecciated welded tuff in the small arroyo in the center of the picture. We hiked the arroyo, a warm microclime on a windy day.

A spring, a small source of water, at the base of the bank of the arroyo. The water accounts for the presence of willow growing in abundance in an otherwise desert plant ecosystem. The welded tuff forms the bank, and brecciated volcanics form the darker rock at the top.

We stopped at the rest stop on US 60 so that Flat Ryan could get his picture taken in front of the Very Large Array. He's blurred because of the strong wind and the distant camera focus. Behind him is the old San Augustin glacial lakebed, with the VLA buildings and two radio antenna's in the mid foreground. The lakebed appears to run all the way to the San Mateo Mountains.

Clouds build over the ridges of the San Mateo Mts. above Highway 12 at Datil, NM. They are harbingers of the oncoming snowstorm that hit the state today.

After getting stuck in the mud at a property southwest of Datil, we drove back across to Socorro and dinner, then home.

A good day. Wonderful company and interesting geology.

I think I want to live in Catron County.


Melora said...

Gorgeous trip! And I love the picture of Flat Ryan.

commoncents said...

Thank you for posting this! I really like your blog!!

Common Cents

ps. Link Exchange??