뉴멕시코주의 기괴한 풍경: The Alien Beauty of the New Mexico Desert
If as a child, you dreamed of exploring space, you’ll be happy to learn that there is a place that looks as alien as anything you may have seen in the movies, and it’s right here on Earth. Located in San Juan County, in the north of New Mexico, USA, lie the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah and Bitzi/De-Na-Zin Wilderness areas. Anyone stepping into this land will feel as if they’ve landed on the set of a sci-fi film.
In Navajo, Bitzi means ‘cranes’, and researchers have found many petroglyphs (ancient drawings) of cranes in the area. Looking at these amazing rock formations, it’s easy to tell why the Navajo called it that.
“In the desert I had found a freedom unattainable in civilization; a life unhampered by possessions, since everything that was not a necessity was an encumbrance. I had found too, a comradeship inherent in the circumstances, and the belief that tranquility was to be found there.” - Wilfred Thesiger
Natural forces carved the Bitzi Wilderness into the stuff of science fiction. Various geological sediments deposited by the primordial sea that covered this region give the now-exposed land its magnificently colorful characteristics.
These formations are called “Hoodoos”. A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos, which may range from 1.5–45 metres (4.9–147.6 ft), typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations. (source)
"The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides." - Jules Verne
"The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation." - Walter Elliot
Should you choose to stay the night, you may be fortunate enough to see the arms of the Milky Way galaxy, thanks to the low light-pollution in the area. It is a sight that makes the area’s nickname – “The Valley of Dreams”– seem very appropriate.