Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jemez Mountains and Gilman Tunnels - October Photo Shoot

[See pictures from our photo shoot HERE. Click on the first photo, then use the "next" button to move through the rest.]

I left my office at 12:00 noon yesterday, and drove to Sherry's house to pick her up for our October photo shoot. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch, then headed north through Rio Rancho on Hwy. 528. We turned west on Hwy. 550, toward San Ysidro; and then went north on State Hwy. 4. Just past CaƱon is a cutoff, Forest Road 485, which leads to the Gilman Tunnels, our first planned destination. The Tunnels were blasted out of rock in the 1920's to allow narrow gauge logging train access along the rushing Guadalupe River Gorge. The road, as it nears the tunnels, becomes a one-lane road, with pull-offs available, so you can let on-coming cars pass. There is very little traffic, especially on a week day, so stopping the car in the middle of the road and getting out to take photos was not a problem.

The scenery in the vicinity of the tunnels is spectacular - a deep gorge, carved by the Guadalupe River, cut through towering cliffs of the Jemez Mountains. The river itself roars through the gorge, cascading down a number of small falls; and pooling in some places where it widens, and where fallen logs create partial dams.

Other than the roar of the river, the only other sounds were birds - both song birds and ravens. One raven kept soaring, back and forth, high over our heads and cawing. I think he was trying to tell us that he was not happy having visitors.

The road turns to a gravel road just beyond the tunnels, and actually continues north to Fenton Lake. We thought we might try taking this crude road up to the lake, but a brief trial run convinced us that it was too washboarded to tolerate for that distance. We therefore turned around and headed back to Hwy. 4, planning to continue north to Hwy. 126, then west to Fenton Lake. But before we had gone even five miles north on Hwy. 4, a storm moved in. The winds were fierce, and the clouds threatening. It was no longer picture-taking weather, so we cut our photo shoot short and returned to Albuquerque, via Rio Rancho, and ended our day with dinner at one of our favorite spots, Hot Tamales.

[See pictures from our photo shoot HERE. Click on the first photo, then use the "next" button to move through the rest.]


Anonymous said...

Your pictures are beautiful. Such color ! It will be interesting if you can find out what those many tunnels were used for. Good job. Mom

Anonymous said...

Jemez has some wonderful history... check out this link:

Al Capone NM Hideout...

Linda said...

Anonymous - I took a look at that web site, and it's really interesting. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Jane/Wags said...

Great Pictures Linda!