The first hike of the trip was to go to the Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (say that 5x fast). This is a slot canyon west of Santa Fe, definitely worth the hike. This was my first experience in a slot canyon.
As we walked up to the entrance, the canyon walls felt more and more ominous. We traversed through narrow points where the canyon floor was smaller than the width of my shoes. At one point, we had to crouch walk under a boulder easily large enough to squash us. Thankfully, it was firmly wedged between the canyon walls. We twisted and turned our way and finally came to a point where the trail turned toward the top of the canyon.
As interesting as it was being inside the slot canyon, it wasn't until we rose high above the canyon floor that the sights became breathtaking. We climbed the makeshift rock stairs. I kept thinking, what was the first person to do this thinking. There were points that would certainly have been extremely difficult if not for the railroad ties added to the trail to help create better steps.
We climbed higher and higher, each time we turned around we were rewarded with an increasingly beautiful view. We turned around and saw the iconic tent rock formations this site is known for. We ascended more of the path and turned around again, this time seeing more of the canyon, more of the tent rocks, and this time mountains off in the distance. Now I knew there was something truly worth it to climb to the top for. I pushed harder and hiked faster, I wanted to see the vista at the peak.
Reaching that peak was well worth the hike. What a gorgeous site, the land stretched on for miles and miles. Off in the distance in nearly every direction there were mountains. Down below you could see the tent rocks and the people traversing their way in and out of the canyon. The view compelled us to be speechless (which if you've ever met me is not my natural state).
It was difficult to want to trek down to the car from such awe inspiring beauty. Eventually, we had to make that journey though. As we reached the car, my wife had to make her customary statement whenever we do any sort of climb like that, "Can you believe we were just at the top of that?!" It's not really a trip for me unless I hear her say that.
Remember, Adventure is Calling!
August 13th, 2015