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This is the area that the Rio Cuervo is in. As you get closer you can just see the walls of that deep thread that is the Cuervo.
In spots it has the feeling of the grand canyon with its depth and breath. Obviously it is neither as deep or wide but it feels that way. Especially If you are walking and you see it by surprise. It has a way of doing that. It blends into the mesa in such a way that you can find yourself at its edge if you are the least bit distracted. There are pools of water that fall to form it.
These pools run over during the rain and form thin chain saws of water winding to the drops under the falls.
Here you can see such a fall with it 100 foot drop to the next level down to the tributary gorge that feed the Cuervo.
The Cuervo drops another 100 to 150 feet in a sheer forceful way. It cuts everything in its path like a laser ribbon etching the floor below. There are times that the walls close in less than 50 feet across.
Other times the walls are a half mile apart and the ribbon of water becomes a muddy wide stream that can support a full size stand of cotton wood trees.
On our first journey into the Cuervo we traveled only a couple of miles of the winding river bottom. To our surprise we found that someone had build some walls out of the stone from the canyon walls about and lived in the Cuervo. The walls were built into the earth back wall of the Cuervo.
In the next small tributary the person had fashioned a corral using the three sides of the Cuervo as a blind canyon. This area was a little higher than the bottom of the river bed and was adjacent to the main stream. It seems that during a dry period many hundreds of years ago this individual decided that he could live in the Cuervo without fear of rising river flows destroying his shelter or animals. It was impossible to see this habitant except from the river bed in front or the side of one steep canyon wall above. The last thing we expected to find was a ruin in the Cuervo itself.
In many spots the river had flowed so strong and deep as to reveal the shelves of rock from millions of years ago. On this first journey we saw many rock shelves on the bottom of the river bed that had sea shells and coral petrified in it. Greg had taken the high ground above the river bed on the canyon wall traveling south as I was in the river bed traveling in the same direction. I had found a piece of petrified wood and was yelling to him to come down closer so he could see its color. He replied that I should look at the petrified wood next to me. I was extremely curious as to how he could spot a piece of petrified wood from so far above. I yelled to him "where is it?". He responded "beside you!" I looked around but did not see a piece near me. I yelled again, "where?" Again he refrained "beside you!" I was frustrated until I noticed that the three foot high rock I was going around to find the wood was a giant petrified wood stump thrusting out of the ancient sea bed.
Greg came down from the canyon wall asking, "Can you see it now?" It was gorgeous. Clearly the largest I have seen not in a museum. Its roots had grown in and out of the rock shelf like a needle pulling thread. They would disappear in the rock and then protrude back out with reds and white grains.
On our next trip looking for petrified trees we got this one sticking out of the side of the cliff. It is about 3 feet across.
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THE AMMONITES WE FIND
COMING SOON THE ANIMALS, SCENERY, FOSSILS, POTTERY...
copyright 2000/2006 Chuck Dawson Corrales NM
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