Sunday, November 13, 2011

Santa Elena Canyon

See that cleft in the mountains in the distance? That's where we're going next. The Santa Elena Canyon.

The canyon was carved out of the mountain ridge by the Rio Grande River. On your left of the canyon is Mexico. On your right is America. Everyone say "hello, Mexico!"

The face of the mountain ridge is impressive. The front rises 1500 feet above the river, and according to the diagram Jerry is ignoring, the backside of the range gently slopes down to river level. Something about plates shifting and pushing up and out, like how your fingernails grow out of your fingers. However it got like that, it's pretty darn cool.

There is a nice hiking trail that leads as far into the canyon, on the US side, as you can go before there is no more place to walk and your feet get wet.

This is dry riverbed. The Rio Grande has been diverted, dammed, and all but dried up due to drought and mis-management. It's more like the Rio Pequeño.

There was a bit of steep climbing up some stairs to get into the mouth of the canyon. When Paige was a baby, she hated riding in a hiking backpack. Josh was OK either way, and Phoebe is a lazy biscuit and never wants to walk.

Birth order at work.

Once past the sun line, the temperature dropped by at least ten degrees. The kids had fun throwing rocks off of the ledge while I cringed and hugged the rock face. I don't like heights. At all.

There's the mountain from which I took the pictures of the Santa Elena Canyon in yesterday's post.

Another fun experience the kids got to have was listening to a true, and surprisingly loud echo within the canyon. They yipped and yelped, whooped and hollered. As did the people out of view both behind and in front of us. It was a cacophony of "echo, Echo, ECHO!"

There was a raven in there somewhere crying, "Nevermore, nevermore, nevermore." It was kinda creepy.

There we are in front of the yucky, microbe infested waters of the Rio Grande, er, Rio Pequeño. It was shades of brown, green, and something iridescent.

Look! Yoga pants! (To be fair, this was the same day as the last set of photos.)

Climbing back out the way we came was prettier than going in. The sun was beginning to sink faster as the afternoon drew to a close, and the cliff's shadow was moving fast enough to chase.

We hollered our last echo, the raven cried it's last "nevermore", and we headed on our way to another adventure.

World travelers debuts soon.......