Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Perfect Hike to Cerro Grande

Four of us hiked up Cerro Grande this morning.  What a perfect day - no wind, no looming thunderstorms.  The new route traverses back and forth making it slightly longer than the old, straight-up path but easier.   Lots of wild iris, mountain parsley and dandelions made for a colorful hike!  

A crew of firefighters stationed at Bandelier, both men and women, preceded us up the mountain.  They  hauled up large, rectangular plastic containers (looked like jerrycans) full of water.  On the summit, they practiced walking while holding 20 pounds of water overhead, lifting a container that resembled a giant, round football.  

The spindly trees surrounding the summit are courtesy of last summer's Las Conchas wildfire.   The trees had nicely survived the 2000 Cerro Grande fire.  In many instances, though, what Cerro Grande didn't burn, Las Conchas finished off!

After the group drove away, I sat on a shady log to eat.  Then, it being such a beautiful day, I stalled going home by picking up trash around the trailhead which included a Fosters beer can and plastic bag of dog poop, both which someone had "thoughtfully" tucked into the crook of a tree near the trailhead sign!

Redondo from Cerro Grande

looking north from Cerro Grande's summit