New Mexico Badlands: San Jose (the B&W post)

The afternoon following my visit to the Lybrook overlook, I decided to drive up to the San Jose badlands, which — according to the directions — were fairly close at hand. The journey was extended a bit due to the fact that I missed one of the obscure road turnoffs, the directions having been off by a few tenths of a mile. So I drove on up scenic and almost totally deserted Hwy 112 for several miles before deciding I’d missed the turn and backtracking. Given the high, wide-open forested scenery, this proved to be not a terribly bad thing. (The badlands themselves sit astride the Continental Divide.)

IMG_5918-EditSince I took quite a lot of photos once I finally made it to the wellhead parking area and donned my hiking gear (boots, pack, camera, floppy hat, walking stick), I’ve decided to split them up into two posts — this one focusing on black & white images, and the next to showcase color shots. (Stay tuned.)

It’s a magical region, and some of the magic is of a decidedly mischevious, if not sinister, variety. Here I refer to the abundant ironstone pellets carpeting the terrain (image at right – click to enlarge). These buggers are in many places pedestaled, and stepping on them begins a process whereby they are loosed to serve as rollers beneath one’s boots. When standing on even a miniscule slope, one’s footing tends to slip; on steeper inclines, as when one is maneuvering for the proper camera angle to shoot a nearby hoodoo, an almost comical tendency to land on one’s butt comes into play — again and again.

Protrubence

Protuberance

This region is worthy of a far more extensive exploration than the hike I took on this occasion. Going back for more will definitely be something to look forward to.

Empire of dirt

Empire of dirt

Curious

Curious

The blasted pine

The blasted pine

Prominence

Prominence

Nature's way

Nature’s way

Mini-hoodoos

Mini-hoodoos

The flow

The flow

Chockstone

Chockstone

Erosion

Erosion

 

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4 thoughts on “New Mexico Badlands: San Jose (the B&W post)

  1. Pingback: New Mexico Badlands: San Jose (the color post) | Arthouse Photography

  2. Pingback: In Praise of Place: Lybrook Badlands, Part 1 | Arthouse Photography

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