So continuing from last week, after I rode in the 4th of July Parade in Round Valley, Arizona I needed to head back home right afterward. A friend suggested a different route than what the apple maps app suggested. He said turn off at Quemado, New Mexico, head north to Interstate 40. There are some cliffs you will run into that I think you might like.
So I drove to Quemado and hung a left just past this beautiful little church and headed north.
And drove miles of road looking like this. Beautiful and desolate but no cliffs to be seen. After a long while I came to El Malpais National Monument and area of beautiful lava flows including lava tubes and other interesting things. No photos of any of that though. I was looking for cliffs. Pretty soon I came to an area where the lava flows came up against cliffs. And my friend was right, the cliffs took my breath away.
Truly spectacular with great skies that day.
Great views everywhere I looked.
And the La Ventana Arch just off the roadway. Aptly named as La Ventana means the window in English.
This shot is from the trail that gets you pretty close to the arch.
Lots of cactus in the area. This might be a cholla cactus.
I loved the blooms on the cactus.
So I loved the arch and the El Malpais. I was kind of mad at myself as well because I lived for years in Albuquerque, just 100 or so miles away and had no clue about the cliffs, the arch, the Malpais or any of that. Of course, that was back in the day when I was young and dumb, (I am now old and dumb.)
What a beautiful place this is. I intend to come back when I have more time.