Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Edge of the Llano Estacado

I had been driving across the open rangeland of eastern New Mexico for a few days and then need to turn for home I made my way back toward Texas. There I found the western edge of the Llano Estacado-the staked plains.

It is a pancake flat plain surrounded by dramatic 200-300' drop-offs to the rolling plains below.

Geologists will tell you it is not only the southern reaches of the Great Plains but it is also some of the oldest unchanged surface of the earth in North America.
Driving east on a two lane road (always the best way to travel) in the early morning light on a heavy overcast day I could see the the edge in the east. A hint of dawn light was sneaking through the clouds in the east giving that edge just a hint of color. So, of course, I stopped to get a picture.

I stopped on a regular basis and by the time I actually go to the edge myself the overcast was breaking up. Driving up to the rim I came across these three boulders. It was erosion in action since they had been part of the rim at some point in the past. Again, its picture time.

After another long stop with the camera I made my way to the top to take in the view into the distance. Decided the image would be best in b+w.

Looking back west the view is of the edge of the rim and off a great ways into the distance. Behind me to the east is nothing but flat. I am on top of the Llano Estacado.


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