Monday, March 28, 2005

05-22 Lincoln National Forest, Sitting Bull Falls: New Mexico

Lincoln National Forest
Sitting Bull Falls

Week 22 of 52
Aug 30

Sitting Bull Falls. I had one more day in Carlsbad and decided to drive the 38 miles west into the Lincoln National Forest to see the falls and maybe go for a swim. It’s one of those out of the way places that doesn’t get much business. The drive was a winding, dipping road through the desert, which did I mention is unbelievable green! It has surprised me so much to see such a green landscape for it being a desert.

It cost $5.oo to enter the Sitting Bull Falls recreation area. Lincoln forest is really still a part of the desert, as I didn’t see hardly a tree in sight. Once again, I drove up through a canyon to get to the falls. Much of the road had recently been washed out from a summer monsoon rain just a day or so before I got there.

I met a couple that were the Volunteer hosts, living in a 30 foot trailer on site. What a life. The whole park is there’s before 8 in the morning and after 5 or 6 in the evening. Free campsite, electric, water, gas and a stipend for being there. Including the use of a forest ranger truck.

The site was originally developed by the CCC and you can see by the pictures, that the picnic shelters are awesome. A short walk along a well paved path along the side of a canyon wall led to the falls.

I was the only one there for most of an hour and a half and then two gals came along. From where else? Tampa Florida. So the Floridians had the park for the day. It was great fun swimming in each pool, taking pictures and just enjoying this special place that very few ever get to see and experience.

Beside the steep walls of the canyon, part of it a perfect semi circle, covered in green scrub vegetation and cactus, the water falls into pools below. There were a number of dragon flies in the most exotic colors of neon blue, green and orange. I understand there are between 80 and 120 different varieties of dragonflies around here.

The main water falls looks as if it’s coming right out of the top of a lush grassy mound at the top of the canyon. The green grasses, vines and wildflowers draping over the top of the waterfalls looking like a green wig over the rounded rocks. It water spray actually helps to cool the air all around the pools below.

This is one of those places you hope you’ll find along the way, but rarely ever do. I hated to have to leave, but finally had to go. It’s a place that tugs at your heart and whispers, “don’t go, stay a little longer, stay”…. I hope I can come back one day….

No comments: