2. Rio Grande Gorge (and the "High Road to Taos")
The Wikipedia description of this gorge contains the following geologic description:
The Rio Grande Gorge is a geological feature in northern New Mexico where the watercourse of the Rio Grande follows a tectonic chasm. Beginning near the Colorado border, the approximately 50-mile (80 km) gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The gorge depth is 800 feet (240 m) just south of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which spans the gorge 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Taos.
Geologically, the Rio Grande Gorge is a rift valley, a separation in the earth’s crust caused by faulting and other earth movements when the North American and Pacific plates scraped against each other some twenty-nine million years ago.
As you can see by the sign below, this gorge is a New Mexico State Park:
As you have just read, the river is flowing merrily along 800 feet (240 meters) below us here, looking downstream:
The height of the bridge is impressive:
This is a view in the upstream direction:
After the bridge we turn back to drive through Taos, and then get off the main road and take what is called the "High Road To Taos" --a scenic route that links Taos and Santa Fe. Some of the views were quite spectacular along the way, including this look to the highest peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (a range described in a Wikipedia page in these words:
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains (Spanish for "Blood of Christ") are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States. The mountains run from Poncha Pass in South-Central Colorado, trending southeast and south, ending at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mountains contain a number of fourteen thousand foot peaks in the Colorado portion, as well as all the peaks in New Mexico which are over thirteen thousand feet.
If we turn left toward the northwest from that same spot, we look back down on the valley we just came from, where Taos is:
About an hour later we see more Sangre de Cristo peaks to our southeast:
Although my eyes were typically looking for scenic peaks, there were also small valleys with nice villages and farms, like this one, along the way:
Our next adventure is a search for the country where the Pecos River originates, on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo range.
3. VISIT THE UPPER PECOS RIVER (PART 1 OF 2)
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