Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Kasha-Katuwe, Tent Rocks National Monument

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor geological formation of cone-shaped tent rock formations, products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Precariously perched on many of the tapering hoodoos are boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff below. Some tents have lost their hard, resistant caprocks and are disintegrating. While fairly uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet.  As the result of uniform layering of volcanic material, bands of grey are interspersed with beige and pink-coloured rock along the cliff face. Over time, wind and water cut into these deposits, creating canyons and arroyos (a steep sided gully formed by rushing water), scooping holes in the rock, and contouring the ends of small, inward ravines into smooth semi-circles.  Surveys recorded in numerous archaeological sites reflect human occupations spanning 4,000 years. During the 14th and 15th centuries, several large ancestral pueblos were established and their descendants, the Pueblo de Cochiti, still inhabit the surrounding area. Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the traditional Keresan language of the Pueblo.     This stunning place required some background knowledge for those first timers. Bear in mind pictures just can't fully capture this unique natural site. Enjoy.  We did.

Spectacular isn't it.  Top gained and a fabulous panoramic view.  It was remarkable to see those trees growing somehow, their roots tenaciously adhering to rocks.    This is only a very small sample of photos taken by all four of us on the walk.  
Next blog is of the journey down to New Orleans.
Robyn & Robert
The Tourin'Travellers

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