Labor Day Weekend
Checking the website for Bandelier National Monument freaked me out a little. The Las Conchas Fire caused … some problems. I was expecting the landscape to be populated by sweet nuggets of charcoal briquettes. The fire altered the landscape so that rain slid off the hills and caused flooding in the Frijoles canyon. For the moment the place looks almost normal. There are sandbags protecting the main buildings and springy minimal plank bridges crossing the stream in several places. The big change is a military style steel bridge spanning the stream and leading to parking/camping areas.
The walls of Frijoles canyon are formed by the fragile packed ash from a volcanic explosion. This rock is worn away easily and was carved away by the ancient puebloan inhabitants.
Rain seeps down through the rock and forms cavities. A strangely cylindrical hole in the rock face is home to a colony of bats. Directly below the cavern their droppings stain the ground with a rusty granular … guano. (Guano or wanu is the Quechua word for dung.)