El Malpais National Monument – October 6, 2019

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Martin Hash
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El Malpais National Monument – October 6, 2019

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:19 pm



While driving Route 66, when I saw a sign to El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico, I wanted to go, not only because it was on our way, but because I could read the name in Spanish; it means “the badlands.” That seems to be a common name for desert sand, dry shrubs, big cactus & long mesas. The visitor center looked brand new, and there was no other tourists there. Reading about the place, turns out it's part of the Zuni-Bandera volcanic field, and had some lava tubes we could explore. Interestingly, in the 1940s, it was considered by the Manhattan Project for atomic bomb testing, and was actually used as an bombing range to train pilots during World War II. We didn't notice any long term affects, and the cactus didn't seem to either.

Gwynne with Cactus s.JPG
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