Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Nice Week on Cochiti Lake and Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!


First, I want to wish all the Moms out there a very Happy Mother’s Day, particularly, my own Mom. Hope you had a great day Mom. Love you!

After arriving at Cochiti Lake on Tuesday, we spent the rest of the week getting our bearings and doing a little exploring of the area. As we were traveling in on Tuesday, I saw Elk Crossing signsP1010744 so we went Elk “looking” on Wednesday. We headed out out NM 22, using the same route we had the day before. We crossed the Rio Grande. Somehow, I was expecting it to look more “Grand”. It was just another river, not very impressive. At least not at this crossing.P1010747 Unfortunately, as far as we could tell, the Elk were in hiding. We did see some Buffalo, so all was not lost :)P1010738

Thursday was a beautiful, sunny non-windy day. Yeah! We’ve been waiting for a day like this for months! Well, it sure seemed like it anyhow :) We’ve been wanting to take our Sea Eagle out for some paddling and the weather was just perfect for it. We had decided to launch from the beach area about a mile from our campsite. Rick inflated it and we hoisted it on top of the Jeep, tied it down and headed out.


We are hoping for a few more days like this so opted to inflate and haul rather than deflate and inflate all over again.


It was a beautiful paddle, calm waters and bright sunshine. We were almost the only ones on the entire lake. There were a couple of fishing boats in a cove and a canoe and sailboat out on the water with us. This is a “no wake” lake so it was perfect for a paddle.


We spent a couple hours on the water. By the time our arms were getting tired, the wind was starting to pick up so we called it a day. Perfect timing!

On Friday, we went to see the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs”. The cone shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions 6 to 7 million years ago.


We drove up to the Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Overlook first. This overlook P1010796was dedicated to all American Veterans in 2004. The road was rough and the signage told us to proceed at our own risk, but it was no problem for the Jeep. There was only one other car that made the trip to the top while we were there. That was fine with us. We got all the great views up there all to ourselves :)

The view from the top observation area. You could see for miles and miles.


A closer look at the tent rock area from above.


From there, we headed down to the trailhead to hike through the monument and see the formations up close. There are 2 trails. Cave Loop Trail is 1.2 miles and Slot Canyon Trail is 1 mile each way. We started off on the Cave Loop Trail for 1/2 mile and then picked up the Slot Canyon Trail.


The Slot Canyon Trail got us much closer to the formations and the path gradually narrowed as we got closer to the slot canyon.


It is my understanding the a slot canyon in this area is rare. Most are found further west, particularly in Utah, Arizona and California. Here is Rick in the narrow part of the canyon.


At this point, although we wanted to go further, the skies were darkening, the wind was picking up and rain was starting to fall. Oh-oh!


We felt it was probably a good idea to head back…and quickly! We made it back to the Jeep just before the rain really started coming down :) I have always thought of the desert as just plain dry with never any rain. It rained pretty good that afternoon and it’s rained twice since then. Because the air is so dry though, you can’t really tell it’s rained 20 minutes later. Everything dries off so quickly. The rainy forecast is supposed to be over after Monday so we might get another paddle in before we have to leave this beautiful place :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. I remember staying there a few years back where the water hook-up was five feet in the air! :)

  2. Now that's a place to stop. I have it on the list of place to go.

  3. Wow, the slot canyon was really awesome. Never seen on in person...need to do that!!

    Keep having fun!!!

  4. Looks like these are amazing places to visit! Definitely a "must-see" in person. Hope you had a nice Mother's Day!

  5. I continue to enjoy reading your blog. Thanks you so much for sharing, it's great!

  6. A jeep trek, a lake paddle and a slot canyon hike all in one day. You guys are definitely livin' the life!

    What a great National Monument. I just love slot canyons. Great pictures of this one. Rick definitely gives it perspective. Beautiful!

    1. Actually, Sherry, we're not that good! It was over 3 days :) Only Bill and Nancy could do all that in one day!

  7. I bet if you had gone out to look for buffalo, you would have seen elk instead :-)))

  8. Glad you were able to take a paddle. Hope the weather cooperates for another one.

    Great shots of the slot canyon.

  9. A good paddle, a good jeep ride, and a good hike sounds like a great week!


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