Friday, September 26, 2014

Bandera/Ice Caves - and wolves

Day 2 of playing tourist in western NM.  We ran a couple of scenic trails at El Malpais NM.  Lots of volcanic rocks, cinder cones, lava tubes - back in volcano country!

Nearby we stopped to see the Bandera Volcano/Ice Caves.  Bandera is a large cone, and there is a nice road walk up to it.

Silly selfie to start things off:

This was a new one for us - a Spatter Cone:

The Ice Cave is where the temperature is always 31 degrees F, and water drips in and freezes.  Apparently the ice is like 20 feet thick!

The green is from algae:

Lava flow - those are some crazy abrasive rocks.  The Zuni-Acoma Trail at El Malpais winds through a couple of these, and it's pretty slow going:

Saving the best for last - the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.  They rescue wolves, wolf-dogs, dingos, and a couple other canine species.  Many of the wolves are aloof, but several are curious about humans, and one even comes over for petting (by our guide):

The tour was super interesting and informative, detailing the lives of the animals, how they are kept entertained and healthy, how they end up there (people try to make a wolf into a pet, but as a wild animal that tends not to work).

Several of the wolves were at the NM State Fair that day, acting as ambassadors.  Part of the goal is education, part is fund raising to maintain such a large facility.

There is a even a fox!  Totally adorable (but apparently really smelly - also not a good pet):

A New Guinea Singing Dog - like a dingo, but smaller:

It was a fun weekend, now off to Arizona!

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