We drove around the southernmost tip of the range( past Hayland tank) and then headed north for a few miles. In a couple of spots I could see how deep and steep the arroyo on my right was. It brought to mind the deeper and much wider San Vicente Arroyo south of Silver City. We parked just before where the road steeply crossed the arroyo. I was a bit wary to drive through,but on closer inspection I believe it would've been manageable. We did cross on foot and then headed back south toward the tank called Toby Hole. There was still water behind the long red earth dam. A nearby fenced area had a small sign that proclaimed it to be a New Mexico Game and Fish Habitat Stamp project. What species was being helped, I don't know. We walked around the little lake, and began looking for road that should have taken off up the east side of the mountain( hill). Didn't find it. It may actually be there, but at that point the hills seemed much less interesting than the box arroyo/canyon that I could see lay downstream of the dam.
We headed off, skirting along the eastern edge.Where I was continually terrified that Seamus( my Scottie dog) would take a mad leap over the frequently concealed edge. We ended up finding a side branch that would take us down( gradually) to the main arroyo. In the bottom were willows,larger than average mesquite trees and only the occasional salt cedar. The dirt walls rose up close to 30 feet and the side branches we explored took on the aspect of slot canyons. They were a few spires, a window rock, and even a small natural bridge, all carved out of the hard packed red dirt. Only the lowest foot or so was carved into bedrock. It really was a fun place to explore, although perhaps a bit bittersweet as I pondered that it's very existence( due to accelerated rates of erosion) was owed to the miserable overgrazing so prevalent in our desert. I may be wrong about this, which would help me to recommend it. Still we ( Seamus the Scottie and I) had a good time, and I was glad to have found this unexpected place. We made our way back upstream, squeezing through the narrowest part of the trench, climbing out and heading back to the truck Note: The Mcleod Hills have some very interesting and easily visible structural geology. Unfortunately I never got around to taking my basic structure course( while a Geology major at UT Austin) before switching majors. I would have loved to have had a geologist who knew the area along for the day.