Petrified Wood at Mesa de Cuba, NM
Last Saturday I had the day off! No baby-sitting, no work, no photos to shoot – what would I do with a whole day off?
I went to Borders in the morning and picked up a copy of Gem Trails of New Mexico. I quickly scanned through it and looked for a location that featured “petrified wood”. For whatever reason I recently became fascinated with the idea of collecting rocks, minerals in New Mexico. Perhaps because I remembered my childhood when my parents, brother and I would drive to the Noerdlinger Ries area to hunt for fossils?
Anyway, after flipping through the book I found a place closeby that would do. “Cuba” to the north-west of us, only about 100 miles of a scenic drive away (with Valles Caldera being the most magical part of the trip).
It was totally worth it. I found the place described in the book and I was the only one there walking through the clay hills and looking for rocks. Here’s a view of the area from where I parked the car. The specimens can be found on the bottom of the hills/mesa in the distance.
Be careful when you hike there, because the ground is extremely slippery when wet. I was close to landing on my ass several times, but somehow avoided full-frontal contact with the mud.
Petrified wood and petrified palm can be found all over the place. It’s incredible trying to imagine that millions of years ago I would have walked in a lush forest there.
Here’s a very small piece I took home with me (there are larger ones, but they are still being “washed” by the rain/snow outside):
In case anybody is interested to follow my footsteps, you can use the map below to find the place I was at (click on it to enlarge it):