The Chihuahuan Desert, along with the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts are found in North America.
In the Sonoran Desert (southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, Baja California, Sonora, Mexico), rains occur in summer and winter.
The Great Basin (Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah) is a "cold desert." It receives most of its moisture from snowfall.
|Duck Billed Dinosaur|
|Thigh bone from a Duck Billed Dinosaur|
The Rio Grande River runs from the Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico. Rising in the 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado's San Juan Mountains, the Rio Grande flows 1,885 miles to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. The river passes through three states in the Southwest, and forms the common border of Texas and Mexico for over 1,750 miles. The Rio Grande and its major Mexican tributary, the Rio Conchos, drain 185,000 square miles of mostly arid land, where demand for water is greater than supply and evaporation is greater than precipitation. Today, as in the past, the Rio Conchos is the major source of water in this reach of the Rio Grande.
Our next stop was the Boquillas Canyon Trail, which climbs and then descends to the river floodplain. I walked the 1.4 mile round trip to see the Rio Grande as it disappears into the canyon. As I approached the end of the trail, I found trinkets that a Mexican set out in hopes of getting a sale. I also encountered a "singing Mexican" who brought his boat over from Mexico in hopes of making some extra money. At the end of the trail the Rio Grande is low right now, and easily crossable. One of the main sources of income in Boquillas Del Carmen, Mexico, is the tourist industry who pay the guides to take them across the Rio Grande and up to the Mexican Immigration Department, and then shop and eat in their restaurants. They obviously do not want a wall put up here. How can one be put up? In the middle of the Rio Grande? And what would happen to the inhabitants of Boquillas Del Carmen ~~ they do not want a wall here.
|Rio Grande making a 90 degree turn|
|Boquillas Canyon Trail|
|Looking up river|
Our final stop was a drive into the Chisos Basin and the Chisos Mountain Range. The Chisos Mountains are the only mountain range to exist totally within a national park.
In other areas thick lava oozed up slowly through huge fissures and hardened into enormous rounded mounds known as lava domes. Following the volcanic activity, millions of years of erosion wore down these mountains and partially filled the basin with sediments. Now the sediments are being eroded and carried out of the Basin through the Window.
Green Gulch was once covered with forest. Lumbering turned it into a grassland, and overgrazing in the early 1940s reduced it to a desert scrub. Now protected from human interference, the canyon is becoming a mix of mountain and desert vegetation.