Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque

with 21 comments


Having settled into our Albuquerque hotel late in the afternoon on October 13th, on the morning of the 14th we headed west along Interstate 40 to visit one of the scenic places my pre-trip research back in Austin had discovered 90 miles west of Albuquerque.



When we’d gone about half that distance and were near the pueblo of Laguna, we began to see picturesque cliffs, mountains, and boulders.



Not surprisingly, I pulled off the highway several times to take a slew of pictures.



New Mexico knows how to do that kind of stuff.



✦         ✦         ✦


Talking Points


Is the statement that hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water a talking point of chemistry professors?

Is the statement that George Washington became the first president of the United States a historians’ talking point?

Is the statement that Monet co-founded the Impressionist movement an artists’ talking point?

Is the statement that a positive polarity and a negative polarity attract each other a physicists’ talking point?

Is the statement that two odd numbers add up to an even number a mathematicians’ talking point?

Is the statement that Beethoven composed nine symphonies a musicologists’ talking point?


Labeling a statement a “talking point” is irrelevant. What matters is whether the statement is true. Partisans often label a true statement a “talking point” in an attempt to discredit it. Maligning a truth doesn’t make it any less true.

And no doubt some will claim that that’s just my “talking point.”


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 7, 2022 at 4:32 AM

21 Responses

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  1. The line of stone blocks in the first photo resembles a train of fossilized boxcars. I envy the SW the beautiful colored sandstones vs. the gray shale that’s so common in the NE

    Robert Parker

    November 7, 2022 at 6:31 AM

    • Leave it to you to come up with “fossilized boxcars.” Actually beginning out in the open spaces of west Texas we did see long freight trains.

      Maybe you can follow the model of exchange students and arrange for the northeast and southwest to swap some mountains.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 7, 2022 at 6:40 AM

  2. Very rocky terrain!

    Alessandra Chaves

    November 7, 2022 at 8:12 AM

  3. The word that popped into mind when I saw the first photo was ‘caprock,” despite what I suspect are some differences in the geology. That said, the beautiful horizontal line of stone in that image does look rather like a capstone on the landscape.


    November 7, 2022 at 8:17 AM

    • Horizontal lines of stones like the one in the top picture were common in New Mexico. You’re probably aware that in the Texas panhandle we have Caprock Canyons State Park. It’s scenic, and we passed near it on this trip but didn’t stop, having spent a good chunk of the day at Palo Duro Canyon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 7, 2022 at 9:31 AM

  4. It looks like beautiful country there! The line of rocks looks like a rock wall. It’s so neat and tidy. Manmade?


    November 7, 2022 at 9:41 AM

  5. Oh my! I remember this region!


    November 7, 2022 at 5:36 PM

    • And good memories they must be. Let’s hope you get to revisit the area before too long.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 7, 2022 at 6:41 PM

      • Oh, I SO want to return, but the next few trips I have planned are either to the north or to the south. I would like to do the Route 66 Tour, but want to take my time doing so. For now, it would be a bit too much work to be away from home for that long.


        November 7, 2022 at 9:40 PM

  6. A quick glance would make one think there is a line of boxcars in the first image.

    Steve Gingold

    November 9, 2022 at 4:57 PM

    • You weren’t alone in seeing it that way. We saw a bunch of real freight trains going east-west in far west Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 9, 2022 at 7:11 PM

  7. […] a natural stone arch called La Ventana, a 90-mile drive to the west. You’ve already seen how scenic cliffs and mountains along Interstate 40 waylaid us for a while. Our next stop was at the Malpais Ranger Station on New Mexico Highway 117. […]

  8. […] spending hours stopping a bunch of times on October 14th at scenic spots along Interstate 40 and then New Mexico 117, we finally arrived at our ostensible destination 90 miles west of […]

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