three feet high and two feet thick, in the top of which is carved a basin more
than a foot in diameter and half of that in depth. The larger room has a
banquette extending around the sides and back, above which are etched many
pictographs, easily distinguishable in the smoke-stained walls and ceiling.
On the circular wall at the back of the cave conventional symbols, such as
clouds, lightning, masked dancers, and the sun are painted with carbon, calcite,
and red ocher. Occupying a conspicuous position in the center of the frieze is
a great plumed serpent, the Avaanyu, keeper of the waters, or rain god of the
Continuing from the junction NM 4 before crossing the JEMEZ
MOUNTAINS with magnificent views of ranges on the north, east,
and south, arrives at junction with alternative NM 4 (see above) at
VALLE GRANDE, 35.2 m., long thought to be a valley, has been
identified as an extinct crater (8,500 alt. of floor; 9,000 alt. of rim),
176 square miles in area, said to be the largest measured crater on
earth. Mountains rise up from its sides, and down in the crater cattle,
horses, and sheep graze. Its grassy, smooth immensity with trees on
the slopes above and a vast expanse of sky, makes it one of the most
attractive places in the vicinity of Santa Fe. (During bad weather make
inquiry concerning road.)
In Valle Grande is the junction with NM 126 which the route
follows over the NACIMIENTO RANGE through grassy mountain
meadows with vistas of great beauty at several points along the road.
As the road ascends the eastern slope of the range, there is a fine view of
REDONDO MOUNTAIN (11,250 alt.) to the east toward Valle
Grande. On through forests of aspen, fir, and pine, past many attractive
camping spots, to the top of the pass (9,000 alt.), then continuing over
a dirt road rich red against the dark green of the forests down into
Senorita Canyon, with magnificant vistas ahead to the west as the road
twists and turns in its descent. On past and over mountain streams
and more red road to the plain on which Cuba is situated. This last
part of the trip is easy when the road is dry. (Inquire about road con-
ditions after a rain.)
In CUBA, 79.3 m., is the junction with US 84 (see Tour 9).
(San Luis, Colo.)—Costilla—Questa—Taos—Velarde—Santa Fe—
Galisteo—Moriarty—Willard—Corona; NM 3, US 64, US 85, NM
41, US 60, NM 42.
Colorado Line to Junction US 54 with NM 42, 239.7 m.