Spring has definitely come to New Mexico, and although it can get very windy, the weather is often fantastic for hiking. These photos are from the Quebradas, a wilderness area near Socorro, New Mexico. As soon as you park at the edge of the dirt road, you have great views of the surrounding hills and distant mountains.
The level of water in Bursum Springs is low this year. We have in the past climbed up the low cliff behind the pond, but a trail leads around as well.
The hike goes up a dry (most the year) river channel that is sometimes smooth gray rocks and sometimes like this:
At several places you can find exposures of barite, a mineral that forms large crystals.
Here's a close-up of that large rock on the right-hand side of the picture above:
You might also come across historic artifacts, like this wall. Possibly a sheep pen from some nineteenth century shepherd?
This area is good for fossils as well. Some rocks are chock-full of fossil stems from crinoids, a marine animal also known as a sea lily. Other areas have imprints of coral fans. Note the patterned areas in this sample.
One option for this hike leads to an old mining area where you can find debris containing azurite and malachite. More on that next week! Learn more about the Quebradas Backcountry Byway from the BLM or New Mexico tourism.
Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $3.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page.
The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris's other titles include Whispers in the Dark, a gothic drama at an archaeology dig in the Four Corners area, What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico, and Counterfeits, a suspense set near Jemez Springs.