After hiking up the slot canyon in Plaza Blanca, I turned around and headed back to the car around sunset. I took this panorama as the setting sun cast a bright light on this fin of rock jutting up out of the river bed.
Earlier this summer, I decided to take an evening walk through Plaza Blanca (the White Place), a slot canyon across the river from Abiquiu, New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe’s work often focused on this area, and a visit to the valley allowed me to imagine the artist painting under the open blue New Mexican sky long before I was born. My sister and I attempted to hike into this canyon a few years back, but we ended up getting accidentally sucked into a similar, parallel canyon to the east and south. This year, we were sure to ask for detailed directions and arrived at the White Place a few hours before sunset. The rapidly eroding landscape at Plaza Blanca is part of the Abiquiu Formation, which consists of redeposited volcanic ash and other sedimentary rocks that are about 20 million years old. The cliffs near the parking area form a wide valley that narrows into a slot canyon to the north and west. Afternoon summer clouds floated by overhead and swallows dove between the canyon walls as we wound up into the hillside. We started heading back to the car around sunset, leaving part of the area unexplored. I hope to make it back to Abiquiu soon so I can photograph more of the slot canyon.