My work at the balloon fiesta is done and the last mass ascension has occurred and I am scheduled to leave tomorrow, so if I'm going to go back to see things on the Jemez Scenic Byway, it has to be today, another glorious one at that!
BTW, the road to get to the Byway is the same road I took last Spring to get to Durango, CO. About 20 miles further is where I had the blowout of the left front tire of the car and spent some time at a garage in Cuba while it was being fixed.
Stop 1 today was the Jemez Springs State Monument which protects the 14th century Pueblo of Gisewa (pronounced GEE-say-wah)and the 17th century San Jose de Los Jemez Mission Church. There is a paved trail out of the visitor center with numbered markers at various points. I borrowed a trail map that explained what I was seeing at each stop. I couldn't keep the map. Enjoy the pictures.
There are some hot springs in the area and Jemez Springs has a bath house using those hot springs as their source of water. Reservations are a must, however, so I settled for lunch at an outdoor cafe with a couple playing guitars and singing folk and jazz songs. Relaxing on this Sunday, even if many motorcycles passed by.
Soda Dam is a little further up the road. It is a natural dam formed by the sulphur and calcium deposits of the Jemez River. Interesting. . . .
I took a picture of Battleship Rock, but the software on my computer doesn't show it and says it's corrupted, so that is lost. It looks just like a battleship - imagine that!
Jemez Falls is a state park with a campground with an entrance fee. Since the river is shallow, I opted not to pay the fee to see the falls.
I passed by the Valles Caldera again, intending to go to Bandelier National Monument, but they have a gate to get in and a fee of $12, so I became cheap and didn't see this. The brochure says there is a kiva you can climb down into and a cliff dwelling you can see. I've been there, done that in different places.