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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jemez Mountain National Scenic Byway - Northern New Mexico

We started our journey out at the southeren tip , San Ysirdo, which is about 45 min northwest of Albuquerque.  The scenic byway is a total of 120 miles long, so we will get as far we can today. 

Interesting rock formations at the beginning. Click on any picture to enlarge

The by way  runs by the Jemez Peublo ( an indian reservation).  They ask people not to drive through their village or take photographs of their citizens--understandable.

The red rock section of our drive

along the roadside of the Red Rocks, Indians sold fry bread and green chili stew...of course we had to sample!

After a little snack, back on the road

Ruins at Jemez Springs.

The small town of Jemez Springs
They have hot springs in this area--choice 1 is the bath house in town
choice 2, which seemed more popular is what is known as Soda Dam.  If you click to enlarge you will see the springs in lower right corner that rushes into the river that runs alongside the highway
This rock formation is known as Battleship Rock

Valles Caldera National Preserve is along the scenic byway as well. 
The rangers at the preserve said that during September herds and herds of elk can be seen here; they have a big Elk Festival on the grounds.
Though there was more to see further up on the byway, we had to turn around at this point and head back to the rv.  Further up the road is Bandelier National Monument-- a site we have planned to see.  Maybe next trip.
Many layers in the rock strata. Check out all the pock holes in the sandstone on this layer

Ruins of an old mission. The friar and colonists finally pushed the Native Americans too far when they levied a blanket and food tax on them. They killed the friar and burned down the church.

These cactus were everywhere until we got higher.

Big cliffs for such a small (currently) river

Move along now....nothing more to see here.

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