Ghosts in the Forest

Odd and amazing rock formations are one of the features we have come to appreciate in our hikes around New Mexico. Some, like those at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, are tourist attractions visited by many people, but others are hidden away in unexpected places. This week we visited some rock formations that are in the latter category.

About an hour from Albuquerque, in the Jemez Mountains, there is a Santa Fe National Forest campground at Paliza Canyon and several dirt roads and trails in and around the canyon. There aren’t any formal trails so we were glad to have our friend, Sue, and her GPS device along to guide us. We were on our way to visit the rock formations called The Goblin Colony.

By walking about a mile up the dirt road where we parked our car, we could have directly gotten to the formations, but to make it a longer hike, we first went along a wooded creek in the canyon. Then we ascended to a ridgeline viewpoint where we could look out over the canyon. After lunch we descended through a side canyon and approached the goblins from above, sneaking up on them from behind, you might say.

Other oddities are weird plants with weird names.  This pink stuff is a patch of Fetid Goosefoot.
Other oddities are weird plants with weird names. This pink stuff is a patch of Fetid Goosefoot.

Ridgeline viewpoint looking over Paliza Canyon.  Sandia Mountains in far distance.
Ridgeline viewpoint looking over Paliza Canyon. Sandia Mountains in far distance.
View from the rock ledge where we had our lunch.
View from the rock ledge where we had our lunch.
First sighting of the goblin rocks.
First sighting of the goblin rocks.
Closer view of the Goblin Rocks.
Closer view of the Goblin Rocks.
Lee is standing in front to give a sense of scale (the goblins didn't get him).
Lee is standing in front to give a sense of scale (the goblins didn’t get him).
These look like silent ghosts marching down the hill.
These look like silent ghosts marching down the hill.
This looks like a face.
This looks like a face.
How is that gray rock staying perched up there?
How is that gray rock staying perched up there?
This place was a maze of eroded rocks you could walk through--petrified version of a corn maze.
This place was a maze of eroded rocks you could walk through–petrified version of a corn maze.

As we approach the month of October and commercialized America begins to fill stores and advertisements with images of Halloween ghosts and goblins, we can say we have already enjoyed nature’s version of ghostly images.

Author: bjregan

Enjoying retirement activities. Main goals for retirement are to stay spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

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