Rancherias Canyon

Before I take you down the trail I mentioned yesterday, you get to follow in my footsteps as I explore the top of the canyon we found ourselves on.


For you see, it was as if we were transplanted to another world on that snowy day.  The blowing snow did quite a bit to remove any sense of place or perspective that we had.  Wally Road (Guale) winds through a series of valleys where your sight is limited anyway and you can’t see very far.  And then BAM.  You pop out of the “close” quarters and we were transported to a movie set somewhat reminiscent of the old Planet of the Apes.

The canyon that my buddy Fred is looking over is Rancherias Canyon.  It’s just downright awesome – and it calls for more time and more exploration.

planet of the apes

All around me, there were little nooks and crannies that were just begging for face time on the camera.  This was one of those occasions where being with a group of friends was a definite drawback – I was totally in photographer mode and would have been content to spend hours on the ridge, cold fingers be damned.


The sun briefly broke through the clouds and hit squarely on the tuff formation near the center of this image.   According to what I’ve been told, which happens to correspond with everyone’s favorite cheat sheet on line:   Tuff (from the Italian tufo) is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption.

In case you weren’t aware, the whole of the Big Bend region is covered in the remnants of massive volcanic eruptions a few gillion years or so ago….

Also, as an aside, it seems that wherever one finds tuff, there is a decent chance that one will find American Indian sign nearby.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on March 15, 2011.

4 Responses to “Rancherias Canyon”

  1. Wow –
    that does look like a gorgeous hike!


  2. Oh, what a beautiful place, Derrick. I especially like the last shot – so beautiful.



  3. Wonderful photos. It looks like such a gorgeous place to take a hike and to photograph.


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