ROUGH MAGIC .......... Seek the El Malpais NCA Sun Dagger

  • March 22, 2014 · 9:30 AM
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CELEBRATE SPRING and the return of the sun either on Sunday March 16 or on Saturday March 22.  Join us for a mellow 3 mile round trip walk in the Cebolla Canyon Wilderness to see a petroglyph calendar.  Discover if this site has a Chaco-like sun dagger during equinox week.

Ponder when these petroglyphs were created.  And why?  Then consider what was happening on the rest of the planet from the time the ancestors came here until now.  Discover if these times and places are connected.

The petroglyph site is a treasure for Cretaceous beach combing along its 70 million year old sands.  The petroglyphs themselves have been said to span many years.  Each portion of the 2 large panels of rock art is rich and captivating.

Last month we spied a Wooly Bear (caterpillar) darting across the snow!  Spring flowers were already blooming!  Find out why.

We will visit with respect; and refrain from touching the petroglyphs, eating by them, or climbing on the cliffs around them.  (We'll picnic at a great spot downslope.)  This is a slow hike meant for discovering nature's wonders. We'll meet at the BLM El Malpais Ranger Station on State Road 117, Mile 47.5; 9 miles south of exit 89 off I-40 near Grants, NM.

Arrive at the ranger station at 9:30am then Depart at 10:00am sharp.  Here the bath rooms are good looking, the views are strong, and the rangers are above average.)  Drive (carpool if ya got em) ~30 minutes on paved road.  Begin walking at 10:30am-ish.  We will arrive onsite around noon to picnic and give time to appreciate the rock art before the sun events.  We should depart the site before 2 pm and arrive at the parked vehicles before 3 pm.

CHECK BACK HERE IN CASE OF A CANCELLATION NOTICE.  If the weather is predicted to be prohibitive, then the trip may be cancelled.

Wear sturdy boots and bring warm waterproof outerwear for springs's changing conditions.  Bring a lunch or snack and plenty of water.  BLM hikes are open to all and free of pets, firearms, and intoxicants.  Hikers should be able to sustain walking for two 1 hour periods over 3 total miles of gently variable terrain with under 200 feet of elevation gain.  Hikers must stay with the group.  This hike is entirely off trail over gentle terrain. This hike is not recommended for people under 12 years old, or for those not used to hiking at 7200 feet for 4 hours. PLEASE CONTACT A BLM-ER IF YOU CHOOSE TO LEAVE THE GROUP.

Map: http://www.nps.gov/common/commonspot/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=elma&parkname=El%20Malpais

Homework:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJXh9fFCpOs

To give all hopefulls an equal chance, please register individually AND for only 1 of the 2 hikes.  Registration will begin on Saturday, March 1st at 9 AM.  This hike often fills to the point of a wait list, so best sign up early.  (Ranger Grumpy may delete any hikers enrolling for both dates.)

Thanks to you for supporting these public outings, which are even catching national attention.  If you wish to pay it forward and support efforts like these in the schools, in under served communities, and in the outdoors throughout El Malpais NCA, please respond.  We currently GREATLY need a volunteer ranger who can staff our ranger station once a week, and thereby free up a ranger to continue to offer these kinds of programs to you and to the region's schools.  

A Friends Group is now forming to support the public lands around the El Malpais area.  Please respond for more information.

Happy Spring!

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  • Dorothy

    Enjoyed the hike and the people.....

    March 22, 2014

  • john k.

    Flat tire this morning lousy spare can't make it very sorry

    March 22, 2014

  • joseph

    Anyone want to carpool? I'm near Tramway and Menaul.

    March 3, 2014

    • Sandra I.

      I live off Osuna just east of Edith in the Vista Del Norte Subdivision but I could come up to your house.

      March 21, 2014

    • Sandra I.

      Call me if you want[masked] I am up till about 9:30

      March 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all, I'm visiting ABQ from Vancouver and would like to get some hiking in. I don't have a vehicle but can take public transit to a meeting point if anyone is able to give me a ride to the hike.

    March 12, 2014

    • joseph

      I might be able to pick you up -- where located?

      March 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I bring .my husband and son?

    March 20, 2014

  • joseph

    Would anyone like to carpool on this? I live near Menaul and Tramway.

    March 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I bring .my husband and son?

    March 13, 2014

    • Paul Y.

      Please feel free to invite interested folks to register then sign up for this hike. Cheer, paul

      March 15, 2014

  • Charles F.

    Just one

    March 7, 2014

  • Paul Y.

    GREAT NEWS - Ranger Kate will join us and not only bring along her deep naturalist skills, but also a unique perspective of this site. "If we leave our technological world behind ... even for just a few hours ... and look at the place - the entire landscape, we might be able to begin to understand."

    March 5, 2014

  • Kim K.

    My husband Jesse and I live in Rio Rancho and will drive down Unser to get to 40. If anyone is on the way, we'd be happy to pick you up on the way down.

    March 3, 2014

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