Rock climbing in the canyon
Socorro Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
I was going to try to fly stand by and get home today, but I thought I'd check out the San Lorenzo Canyon first. Maybe kill an hour or so before I head to Albuquerque. My directions were vague: a few miles NW of Socorro, exit at Lemitar, take the western frontage road about 5 miles, head west on gravel road. Hmmm. Well, I'll give it a shot.
I follow the frontage road, but don't see any signs for this canyon. Around 5 miles up, the paved road turns right sharply and goes under the interstate. I decide to take the gravel road to the left. There are many roads and river beds crossing this road, but I stick to the main road (or what I think it is) because I don't want to get lost out there.
Fortunately there was actually a sign at the fork in the road, so off I went. More windy road and washouts and dips and bumps. How fun! Its almost like off-roading, only on a road instead. I pass a neat outcrop - an angular unconformity! A little farther up the road I finally enter the canyon. How awesome! The road winds through the base of the canyon around huge outcroppings of rocks.
But I can't leave after only climbing one rock! So I jumped out and went to climb another. At first I just looked up and thought, there's no way. I'll just rest here on this broken piece of rock and hope the rocks don't fall on me. Besides, I need to leave soon. And then I thought, wait - its sunny and 50 degrees. Its going to be cold and snowy back home.
I layed out on a flat area up top, thinking I could work on my tan. Well, 50 degrees is a little cool to be in a t-shirt, especially with the wind! Brr! And I was lying on a conglomerate - a rock made up of gravel - and the little rocks were poking me. I sat up and looked down at my car, so far away. Then I looked behind me - oh, I can go higher! And then I found this nice little area on a sandstone (much more comfortable) in a little protected nook out of the wind. The sun just beat down on me and the occasional breeze kept me cool. And that is when I decided that this was my own little piece of heaven.
It was so peaceful. And beautiful. I could sit here all day - almost. I worked on my tan and every now and then some people would walk down below me. Occasionally they would notice me and wave. I don't think they realized how their voices travel because I could hear almost everything they were saying. I could even hear them coming before I could see them. It was fun to listen to though. One guy attempted to climb up and couldn't find a good route, saying, "you could almost climb up here". Then the woman he was with pointed out that there was a person way up there. (hee hee hee - I found a way up). So I sat and relaxed and watched the birds and the bees and the people.
But all good things must come to an end. In this case, a family brought their dirt bike out and ruined my peace. Besides, I think my arms are burning. I gathered up my things and climbed around the back side of my rock. I went up and down a little side canyon and up another set of rocks looking back on my rock. I found a couple of other places that had potential to rival my spot. They were a little more secluded from the road, but in the wind more. I probably could have sat out there all day, but I didn't bring any food (remember I thought I was only staying an hour?) and I had to call my parents to tell them not to pick me up at the airport because I wouldn't be there. And of course, there was no cell phone reception in the canyon. I decided to head out. I had absolutely no idea what time it was - it turned out my 1 hour visit became a 5 hour adventure!