Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rabbit Ridge Road Elk Serenade

A group of us hiked this morning up the Rabbit Ridge Road, across from the Valle Grande. The sound of the bugling elk was beautiful! The day was overcast and temps were cooler, giving a feeling of autumn. Ordinarily, a day without our intense New Mexico sunshine can make me feel "down" but not today. My spirits were buoyed after this beautiful hike.

Some hikers went all the way to Rabbit Mountain and then took a short-cut down the mountain-side and back to the cars at Coyote Call trailhead. I went as far as the first felsenmeer and then walked alone back to my car. I wasn't really alone, though, because the  bugling elk serenaded me from all around.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gotta Remain Strong As You Can As Long As You Can

Regarding the post title, as my body ages, I find myself repeating this mantra. Half the battle is showing up, staying upright and keeping mobile!

To that end, took a walk Monday on the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail, starting from East Park and out to the top of the Camp Hamilton Trail. Took the easy way back on what I call the "Happy Trail", aka the Canyon Rim Trail. Guess I call it that because it's almost always sunny, it's paved, it's easy and it's a nice all-weather fall-back when I don't feel like driving to a trailhead.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was not a lot of litter along the section of the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail below the county's Pajarito Cliffs Site parking lot. I haven't been on that part of the trail for quite a while. After getting bitten by a rattlesnake in June 2012 while picking up trash there, you might say the thrill was gone. Well, now that I've been back and got reacquainted with its spectacular views of our area mountains and Pueblo Canyon, I plan to return soon!

On the wildflower front, saw a few scraggly, yellow wallflowers, Tried to take their portraits but I've never mastered close-ups - all the photos were blurry - maybe I can blame the wind! I managed to capture a nice photo of a yucca  almost ready to bloom. My success was in using the telephoto feature rather than the macro and steadying the camera on my broad-brimmed hat.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blue Dot-River-Red Dot Trails - Dry Winter

Several weeks ago, three of us hiked down the Blue Dot, then along the River Trail and up the Red Dot. The whole trek is a little over 4 miles but going up the steep Red Dot makes it feel longer.

White Rock Canyon, where all 3 trails are located, is a world of rocks. We admired jumbles of dark basalt,  decorated with bright blotches of lichen. We were amazed at the placement of river rock so far uphill from the Rio Grande.

We tried to find a petroglyph that the Salzmans in Hiking Adventures in Northern New Mexico describe as a woman wearing a crown. We turned in at the correct place but a tree hides the rock it's on and the petroglyph faces south toward the Rio so we somehow missed seeing it. Reason to go back one day! 

We had lunch at Pajarito Springs which, even in this very dry winter, was pouring forth an never-ending freshet. While eating, I couldn't resist petting the streamside pussy willow catkins, irresistible in their velvety-soft, gray furriness.

Ascending the staircase-like Red Dot Trail, we decided to save for another day the search for Newspaper Rock. We admired the petroglyphs of the serpents and cougar on the way up. Close to the top of the Red Dot, we watched in awe as a jogger below easily galloped up the trail. He said a friendly hello as he passed.  We felt very slow in comparison! Regardless, we all enjoyed the hike immensely.

Near top of Blue Dot Trail, looking toward Buckman Road