Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wild Rivers Recreation Area

We took a day trip to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area to view to the convergence of the Rio Grande River and the Red River.  

On the way we stopped in Questa and ate lunch at the Front Porch Cafe and Deli.  Owner and cook, Jaque, made sure we were satisfied with lunch.  Bill had a piece of her rhubarb pie made from rhubarb that she brought with her from back east.  He said it was yummy.

Rio Grande River:
The first 50 miles of the Rio Grande River as it enters New Mexico from Colorado has been designated  a National Wild and Scenic River, the first area in the US to be so designated (in 1968), and cuts through remote, volcanic land - a flat lava plateau dotted with the black cones of long extinct volcanoes, generally deserted and undeveloped. Most is accessible only by unpaved tracks that run to or along the canyon rims, apart from the deepest part of the gorge west of Questa, which is part of the BLM-managed Wild Rivers Recreation Area, where a paved road runs alongside the Rio Grande for 7 miles and ends at a narrow promontory above the junction with the smaller Red River. This flows westwards from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and its lower end is also contained within a deep canyon, joining the Rio Grande 800 feet below the  plateau.


"Big Sagebrush" appears to be the plant of choice at the top of the canyon.  Trees aren't much to look at - the darker green in the picture.
We followed the 7 mile drive to La Junta Overlook so we could see where the two rivers come together.  From the height of 800 feet above the canyon floor, these rivers looked like tiny streams.  The larger river is the Rio Grande.

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