I can go to the Franklin Mountains
in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said Staci Loewy, a geochemist at California State University, Bakersfield, who led the study.
We started our road trip in the military city of El Paso, nudging the US/Mexican border at the Franklin Mountains
, adjacent to the crowded city of Juarez.
However, it is the border terrain, with the Franklin Mountains
as the backdrop, that in many respects serves as the omnipresent main protagonist.
Hidden in the Franklin Mountains
of the Brooks Range it's still possible to find unexplored canyons, peaks, and glaciers, We begin with a leisurely walk at lower elevations, then ascend to rock and ice in two higher passes.
The Franklin Mountains rise above the Chihuahuan Desert in a sparse display of exposed rocky slopes, steep shady ravines, and loose alluvial fans.
For hikes organized by other groups, contact the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition at 532-9645.