I’m still experimenting with all the amazing tools available online. Here are some images from Google Earth that cover places that Patrizia Antonicelli of Seven Directions Tours and I scouted yesterday.
The first image is an oblique view north into a canyon cut into the southwestern flank of the Jemez Mountains. Although we couldn’t actually drive there, due to fire restrictions, our objective was the narrow rugged gorge you can see just left of center. This is called the Guadalupe Box. A small tributary of the Jemez River has been superimposed over an uplift of hard Proterozoic crystalline rocks and cut a small, but spectacular gorge through which an old logging railway was built in the 1920′s. Two tunnels were dug through the granite gneiss to accomplish this.
You can also see beautiful exposures of the red Permian strata in the lower right side of the canyon. The entire area is thickly buried by pinkish-grey Bandelier Tuff, which forms the big mesas which dominate the scene.
The image above is an oblique view of White Mesa near San Ysidro, New Mexico, with the Ojito Wilderness just beyond. The bright white cap of the mesa is made up of gypsum deposited in the Jurassic Period here in northern New Mexico. We were hoping to find a way through this wild landscape to have a look this structure, the Tierra Amarilla anticline:
If the road hadn’t been so washboarded – and if we were sure we were on the right road – we might have reached our destination. But that’s the nature of scouting. Next time we’ll have better focus. And I’ll be spending time with Google Earth before we go!