Stoneface Monday

New Mexico Road Trip

Six to seven million years ago, layers of ash and rock were deposited here by pyroclastic flow – a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano, reaching speeds of up to 430 mph. – Over time, erosion of these layers has created canyons and tent rocks. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks, and vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet; my photo does little to convey the true scale of these remarkable features (check out that tree in the picture to get an idea). – A relatively recent National Monument (designated in 2001 by Bill Clinton), Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is located near the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. The name, Kasha-Katuwe, means "white cliffs" in the Pueblo language Keresan. • #puebloland #tentrocks #ancientland #americansouthwest #nationalmonument #newmexico #kashakatuwe #whitecliffs #tentrocksnationalmonument #traveldiaries #geology #volcanic #erosion #exploremore #wanderlustwednesday #amazingnature #geologyporn #travelstoke #lookaround #hiketheworld #🏜 #🌋

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These cliff dwellings in the Gila Wilderness were used by the Mogollon people, a culture that flourished from 200 CE to around late 1400 CE. Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) has determined that the wood used in the dwellings was cut between 1276 and 1287. Archaeologists estimate that the site was only used for 20 years or so. – 46 rooms have been identified in the five cave network, part of which is shown here. They were likely occupied by 10 to 15 families. – While local native peoples were aware of the site, the first contact by Europeans occurred in 1878. Several mummified bodies were found at the Gila Cliff Dwellings during that time but were lost to looters and private collectors. One infant mummy remains, found in 1912, and is in the possession of the Smithsonian. • #gilacliffdwellings #newmexico #wilderness #gilawilderness #nationalmonument #gila #hiketheworld #explore #respecttheculture #mogollon #ancientcultures #solovacation #outdoorlife #specialplaces #traveltolearn #seetheworld #stonehouses #cliffdwellings #americanindian #mimbres #canyon #home #cavedweller #lostculture #ancientstructure #americanhistory #americansouthwest #🏜 #🔍

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Which would you choose? I returned with every intention of purchasing the beautiful orange patterned piece (at right) by the late Grace Chino, but my wallet had other plans; I was still happy to go home with a small seed pot created by Rachel Concho of the Roadrunner clan. A more modest start to the collection but equally gorgeous! – These stunning pottery pieces are hand thrown by artists of the Acoma Pueblo near mid-western New Mexico. According to Acoma oral history, the sacred twins led the ancestors to “Ako,” a magical mesa composed mostly of white rock, to be their home. Acoma Pueblo is called Sky City because of it’s position atop this mesa, and it’s the white clay of this region that lends unique character to the pottery created here. – Acoma’s dense, slate-like clay allows the pottery to be thin, lightweight and durable. After the pot is formed, it is painted with a slip of white clay. Black and red design motifs are added using mineral and plant derived paints. Fine lines, geometrics, parrots and old Mimbres designs are common motifs. The traditional paintbrush for Acoma potters is made from the yucca plant and all of the patterns are painted freehand. – The historical land of Acoma Pueblo once covered roughly 5 million acres. Now, the community retains just 10% of this land. Archaeologists believe the Acoma have continuously occupied the area for over 800 years, and oral traditions state that they have been present for over 2000 years. Along with the Hopi pueblos, the Acoma maintain one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the US. • #acoma #pottery #acomapueblo #freehand #gracechino #rachelconcho #newmexico #santafe #nativeamericanart #artgram #handthrownpottery #finepottery #tribalart #tribalpattern #stunningart #cantchoose #threecolors #potterycollection #instaart #instahistory #southwesternstyle #🏜 #🏺

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Bat mural returns, much like a midnight pollinator. That’s right – the return of a bat is a good thing: some plants depend entirely on bats to pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds, and bats can also assist in pest control by eating insects. This helps to ensure the production of fruits that support local economies as well as diverse animal populations. Bats are good! 🌼 • #batsarecool #respectthebat #tucson #newmexico #pollinators #flyingmammal #localart #lookaround #desertlife #americansouthwest #solotrip #travelgram #desertanimals #publicmural #handpainted #travelsights #dailydetails #flyingbats #nocturnalanimals #loveanimals #batsofinstagram #lovenature #lovebats #batconservation #allcreaturesgreatandsmall #naturefan #22ndstreetshow #🌵 #🦇 #🏜

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I reached El Malpais pretty late in the day – a little too late to call a solo hike, having never been in the area, a “wise decision.” But the trail looked well marked, the air was warm and I wasn’t ready to give up, so I pushed it – getting back from the 4 mile loop just in time to find a ranger circling the parking lot at sunset. The wide variety of unusual volcanic stones and the sweeping views along the crater made this short hike one of my favorites of the trip! – #ElCaulderon erupted around 115,000 years ago and is one of the oldest lava flows in El Malpais National Monument. The trail I hiked features both red and black cinders in different areas in addition to large, sharp lava chunks and several caves. Because of the high density of iron in the area, compasses are unreliable for navigation. • #volcanohike #elmalpais #newmexico #nationalmonument #solohiking #lateday #longshadows #volcanicrock #solotravel #hikingadventures #wanderlust #instahike #continentaldividetrail #cdt #shorthike #womenwhoexplore #womenwhohike #ig_naturelovers #americansouthwest #volcaniclandscape #magicalplaces #energyvortex #strangenature #sacredplace #canyoufeelit #oldplaces #amazingplaces #🏜 #🌋

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Imja Tse Dreams

New Year’s Eve Hike

Paris, France Layover

On display at the Musée de Minéralogie, a large fluorite specimen from Tarn, France. “This fluorite was initially of a more sustained blue, but too much exposure to light modified its original color. It is the ultraviolet rays of light that partially discolored this sample.” Of course it seemed ridiculous to spurn the more famous Parisian locales for the sake of visiting a gem and mineral museum, but I think I’ll just play the “jewelers are kind of weird” card on that. • #fluorite #minerals #rocksandminerals #mineralcollection #bluegem #geology #mineralogy #crystallove #crystal #nofilter #stonelover #jewelrydesigner #paris #iloveminerals #crystalobsession #museedemineralogie #iceberg #mineralsofig #cerulean #parismuseum #gemobsessed #crystals #crystalsofig #rawgemstone #rocklovers #💎

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Slovenija’s Julian Alps

Lukla Airstrip