El Malpais National Monument II


Junior Ranger Inky at Sandstone Bluffs

Hello hello! I apologize for not posting for so long. As I am sure everyone knows, the world is currently under attack by the COVID-19 virus. I haven't been traveling, except for a trip to New Mexico. My grandmother needed some help, so my family flew into Albuquerque to assist her. Luckily, we were able to take a brief trip to El Malpais National Monument! El Malpais means "bad lands" in Spanish! Don't worry- that refers to the terrain; the monument is actually amazing and not at all bad.

El Malpais isn't too far from the Pueblo where my family is from. My parents, grandma, and I drove together to El Malpais's Sandstone Bluffs Overlook, one of our favorite places in New Mexico. The Sandstone Bluffs have an amazing view of the lava flows of El Malpais! You can also see Mount Taylor, New Mexico's highest point. Mount Taylor, like much of the area, is part of a volcanic field. The volcanos are dormant, which means they have not erupted in thousands of years. (In French, "dormant" means "sleeping.") In fact, my grandmother lives very near to a much smaller dormant volcano too!

Inky at Sandstone Bluffs, El Malpais

Normally, my family would hike at El Malpais. This time, due to the pandemic, we stayed only briefly. Since it was autumn, my Mama took some photos of me for our family New Year card! This is one of the photos she took.

Thirty five

Before we drove back east to the Rio Grande valley, we stopped by La Ventana Arch. (In Spanish, "ventana" means "window.") My family left the camera in the car; this photo is from a previous visit. :) The arch was formed by erosion of the Zuni sandstone.  While it may not be as large and impressive as the arches I've seen in Utah, it is part of home and I love it so much.

Inky Holiday at Sandstone Bluffs, El Malpais

I'm really glad that, despite the global pandemic, I was still able to visit El Malpais National Monument. I'm excited to visit more National Park Service sites when the pandemic ends. If you'd like to learn more about El Malpais National Monument, check out the monument's website!

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