Saturday, October 6, 2007

El Malpais National Monument

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - his eternal power - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made..."

El Malpais is Spanish for "the badlands". To me it is evidence of God's sovreignty in nature. The beautiful sandstone cliffs and mountain sides combined with volcanic lava tubes and miles and miles of lava beds demonstrate both the harshness and the beauty of this land. The lava as it cools forms caves where the lava tubes have collapsed. Some of the caves actually have ice in them year round even though the outdoor temperatures get quite warm.
Indians inhabited this land before the Spanish settlers, then came the Anglo settlers from the westward expansion. The indians still predominately own this land (apart from the National Park). It is amazing to read of the stories of these hearty people who have learned to live in such dry and barren lands.
Much of this park straddles the Continental Divide. We hiked a couple of trails that took us back and forth across the divide. While this area is truly desert, it is also high in elevation (between 7000 and 9000 ft). It provides for comfortable days even when it is warm in the valleys.

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