Pecos River @ Malaga Bend

A Salty Tale in Several Parts

3.   The first bend east of Malaga

We have come to this next bridge over the river by taking the main road through Malaga to the east and turning south from it onto McDonald Road, and then making a left turn from that paved road onto Dog Town Road, which is not paved but is not all that bad (except in one spot where I had to maneuver my low-riding car so as not to risk having the oil pan pierced by a sharp rock).  The Dog Town Road Bridge gave some nice views of the river as it came into Malaga Bend.  Malaga Bend looks like this on a satellite photo (thanks to MapQuest):

We will visit the peculiar-looking ponds in the upper-center of the above photo on the next page, it is part of the salty tale told there.  

The white line crossing the river to the upper left is Dog Town Road, and this is what the river looked like at that point, looking and walking some small distance upstream:

The next task was to look downstream, and follow the river around the bend looking for evidence of salty brine welling up beside the river (the brine welling up directly into the river from below would be invisible to us of course).

We start from the bridge, and note the contrast in vegetation on the ridge to the left and on the land the river flows around where brush has been cleared to encourage grass to grow:

Even though I took pictures like a madman, we will only show a few highlights of out somewhat long walk around this big bend.  We will focus on places where there were suspicious salty deposits along the river's edge (none visible in the above photo, but definitely some in the next set of photos):

Incidentally, straight behind us from the spot where the above photo was taken is the well that was used for a few years to pump brine from the brine-aquifer below us (see the next page).

As we go around the curve, there are a few more salty spots (whether from the evaporation of upwelling brine, or the slopping over and drying up of river water, is anyone's guess, but since the experts have said that brine is entering the river from seeps on both sides of this bend, it is safe to say that some of this salt, maybe much of it I suspect, especially where he river bank is steep, is from upwelling briny seepage evaporating in the sun:

We skip ahead some, to enter the main bend that takes the river from being eastbound to heading westbound again:

As we exit the sharper curve in the bend and head west again, the salt deposits on the edge of the river diminish:

We continue west and see the end of the great bend come into view, with the river braiding a bit as it nears the final bend back to the south:

Looking back to the east where we have just come from, just before the last bend of the Malaga bend.  The salt on the edges of the river here are from evaporating river water.  To me they look different, more diffuse, than the more massive salt deposits around the sharper part of the bend that we looked at above:

Finally (for this page) the river is now headed south again after its big bend, and getting ready for another bend in just about two miles:

But before we say goodbye to the Pecos around that next bend, there is a salty tale still waiting to be told.

It will be told on the next page.

A salty tale at Malaga Bend (4)

Watching the Pecos go 'round the second bend (5)

Meeting the Pecos just southwest of Nash Draw (1)

Where the Black meets the Pecos (2)

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