El Malpais National Monument
From AZ 288, we drove back thru Globe and on to New Mexico, where we resolved to see El Pais National Monument. Two days were wasted huddled in the house (RV, that is) because we were not stalwart enough to brave the cold temperatures, which were in the LOW 60's! Quelle Horror!!!!!! After 7 months on the road basking in 70 and 80 degree temperatures, our blood has thinned out considerably.
On the way to El Malpais, we crossed the Salt River (view below). It's actually unusual to see water in a river here. Most of the "rivers" are dusty flow-ways that are used as OHV roads by the many folks that come here to drive madly around the landscape, breathing gas fumes, listening to noisy motors and swathed in garments designed to protect them from the dust they are kicking up. They like to ride around in little herds of 5-10 OHV's. I encounter them whilst riding around on my trike, and they always stare at me in consternation, often stopping to ask me if "everything is OK". I guess they have trouble grasping that a person can ride 10 or 20 miles on a trike without undergoing a crisis. It's awfully nice of them.
It turns out that El Malpais is a volcanic area, and is therefore full of lava tube caves, none of which I could enter because I can't walk across boulders without breaking my leg(s). Boo! :(
I did hike up to the cinder cone from whence some of the lava flows came, though, and climbed about a million stairs to reach the rim of the caldera and hike around it.