Part One: Seeing the falls and its chain of pools again
NOTE: Sitting Bull Falls was ravaged by a fire in 2011. Most of the larger trees in the area were killed. Some were only killed down to the roots, which remained alive. These have a chance of re-sprouting from the roots, and will be back in a few decades. To see this magically colorful place from a time before the fire, please select the link to the New Mexico page below, and scroll down to the various web photo and movie offerings on Siting Bull Falls that are linked there.
It is early August 2013, two years after the fire, and it is hot.
Create a playplace in the desert with cool, fresh, running water, and you will get people to come and take a dip.
For respect-of-privacy reasons I did not try and take any particular person's picture, but if you look carefully at this photo you will detect quite a few people in and around this one last pool in the chain of pools below the falls:
The above view is from the paved trail that takes you to the falls. When you get closer to the falls on that trail, you see a green bulge of well-vegetated tufa rock. The main water flow seems to come directly through that vegetation:
That viewing platform to the right offers views like this of the first pool below the falls:
The play of water on that dark, smooth tufa surface is quite nice to look at, but I could appreciate it from a distance whereas this young woman needed to get up-close and personal: the signs beside her and at the bottom say 'danger, do not climb:'
It fascinates me how vegetaton can thrive on a bare bulge of tufa rock. Obviously water is the answer:
But I did not want to spend too much time below. After all, this part was not burned out because it was quite wet. So now we are going back to the trail to the top of the falls. Along the way are these nice blue flowers:
Around a bend is the trail, and we now go up, to the top. As we go up there are nice views to the recreation area's picnic sites, with tables and roofs:
The parking area is limited, but ther eis overflow parking about a mile down that road. The restrooms are in good shape with soap and running water.
As we rise a bit more, we go over a ledge and looking in the same directions, the picnic area is no longer visible:
Now it is time to turn around and see how things look up above. We will do that on the next page.
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