Monday, February 17, 2014

Los Gigantes

Yesterday a friend and I were making our way to El Morro National Monument in New Mexico, and avoided the interstate by taking secondary roads. (You'll note that the abbreviation for El Morro is ELMO, but no fuzzy little red Muppets there.) We passed through an intersection in Witch Well, Arizona with this building on the corner, the only structure anywhere around. It always makes me wonder what are they thinking?! to see a tavern/liquor store with a drive up window.

The road took us though the Zuni reservation and a couple of really small communities but it's mostly wide open country. Beautiful, wide open country, and when I spied hoodoos off to the north we made a u-turn and traveled down a brand-new dirt road that was smoother than many highways I've been on.

A little farther down the road was this sign. I don't know what 32 Los Gigantes means - are there 32 hoodoos (giants)? Is it an address on the road? I don't know and a quick Google didn't turn anything up other than to say they're in Cibola County, New Mexico, which I already knew. They're so close to the Zuni reservation I have to believe they have a religious or cultural significance, but the new road gives me a bad feeling the area is being developed. Or maybe they're just geologic formations and nothing more.

I'm including a near-duplicate of the first photo simply because I like the dip in the mountains in the background.
Hoodoos are also called tent rocks, fairy chimneys, and earth pyramids. They're tall, thin spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. They range from 5 to 150 feet tall and typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by  harder, less easily-eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. Thank you, Wikipedia.

I can see where the name Los Gigantes came from, especially when seeing the figure below. I think these formations would be spectacular in glowing, early-morning light.

The photos from El Morro are all processed and are coming up next. Wow. What a place.

Quote of the day:
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. (Sigmund Freud)