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

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