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BLM Campground, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Grants NM

Camped at BLM Campground, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Grants NM, March 24, 2011
Camped at BLM Campground, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Grants NM, March 24, 2011

El Malpais National Conservation Area

El Malpais National Conservation Area and the adjoining El Malpais National Monument are located a few miles south of Grants, New Mexico.

Here's an excerpt from the BLM website description of the El Malpais National Conservation Area

The El Malpais National Conservation Area was established in 1987 and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The adjoining El Malpais National Monument was also established at the same time and is managed by the National Park Service. The 263,000 acre NCA includes two wilderness areas — West Malpais and Cebolla — covering almost 100,000 acres.

El Malpais translates to "the badlands" in Spanish and is pronounced Mal-(rhymes with wall)-pie-ees. El Malpais NCA was established to protect nationally significant geological, archaeological, ecological, cultural, scenic, scientific, and wilderness resources surrounding the Grants Lava Flows.

In addition to the two wilderness areas, the NCA includes dramatic sandstone cliffs, canyons, La Ventana Natural Arch, the Chain of Craters Back Country Byway and the Narrows Picnic Area. There are many opportunities for photography, hiking, camping and wildlife viewing within this unique NCA.

For more than 10,000 years people have interacted with the El Malpais landscape. Historic and prehistoric sites provide connections to past times. More than mere artifacts, these cultural resources are kept alive by the spiritual and physical presence of contemporary Indian groups, including the Puebloan peoples of Acoma, Laguna and Zuni, and the Ramah Navajo. These tribes continue their ancestral uses of El Malpais including gathering plant materials, paying respect, and renewing ties.

BLM Campground, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Grants NM

Nights I've camped here

Relive Your Traumas

I suppose you have to relive your traumas in a way that is somewhat controlled and contained in order to move on from them. Some things you can walk quickly away from and never look back and other things bid you look again and again until you see something of the truth of them. I believe you have to let yourself remember and relive, that you have to find a way to settle with your past because you and it are always going to occupy the same headspace - you cannot separate yourself from anything you have ever done or seen or thought. You have to be able to look at the elements of the past without flinching and I believe that sometimes takes a few kicks at the cat. Or it does for me, anyway. It doesn't change anything - but it makes it easier to be comfortable in my skin.

Living Art - Photography and Stories By Catherine Jamieson

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