We drove Janis up Jemez Canyon today, a day that had that first-day-of-spring-emerging-from-hibernation feel to it.
You can see from the clothes that it’s still got some chill to it, and if you looked in the opposite direction, toward the north-facing slopes, you’d have still seen snow. But it was warm enough to eat quite comfortably on the patio at the Laughing Lizard. The locals were emerging into the street, aggressively wearing shirtsleeves, with cheery hellos and big spring grins.
We drove Janis up to the soda dam, a big plug of travertine laid down by hot springs across a narrow point in the canyon. It’s an odd tourist destination – it smells bad, and you’ve got to brave traffic to cut back and forth across the highway to see the dam and the most active little springs, which are across the road. But it’s geology at a near-human time scale, worth the trip.
Mainly we just ogled the rock, which is at its best down the canyon in the Triassic redbeds of Jemez Pueblo, the reddest rocks it has been my privilege to see in my travels ’round the southwest.