Monday, September 21, 2015

Short Jaunt on VC09 Pipeline Road into Valles de los Posos

This is VC09 Pipeline Road which goes downhill from Guaje Canyon Trail 282 into the Valle de los Posos. I was floored to see the once locked Valles Caldera boundary gate open and a sign allowing (dare I say, welcoming!) hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders! The Boundary Line sign reads: United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Cerro Rubio from Valle de los Posos. There were lots of cattle, not pictured, which behaved like they had never seen a human. We three were serenaded by loud bellowing as the cattle, and a fair number of calves, quickly moved further away from us. We were glad of the distance!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fiery Fireweed

On Tuesday, walked with women's group from Pajarito Ski Area to Rosie's Point on Guaje Canyon Trail 282. Saw 2 groups of bow hunters - both empty-handed - and a lone backpacker with his dog. The cooler weather was absolutely perfect! 

Fiery fireweed sets the landscape ablaze in the Las Conchas burn.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Taperleaf - Pericome Caudata - Along Nail Trail

A friend from the Nature Center wanted photos of a flowering plant, Taperleaf or Pericome Caudata. I promised that I would go back to the Nail Trail last Thursday to capture a portrait of said plant. Well, last Wednesday evening is when a jogger was attacked by a mother bear in Valle Canyon which is just a mile or so down West Jemez Road from where the plants grow alongside the Nail Trail.

After taking the photos, I continued up the Nail Trail, past the short, rocky section to where the trail opens up, flattens slightly and turns left. Right there is where I heard a moan - could have been a vehicle on West Jemez Road but it certainly sounded like an animal. I scanned the thick growth of mullein but didn't see anything. Just in case,  I picked up a thick stick and held it above my head to look tall and continued hiking uphill. Soon, I tossed that and picked up an even stouter stick which I clattered along the ground behind me to not surprise any bears. I honestly (perhaps, stupidly!) dragged that stick for a long time and I found a different way back down to my car.

Taperleaf - Pericome Caudata

Yeamans Bench

Last Tuesday, I walked up the west jeep road on Pajarito Mountain. When I got to the top, within sight of the holding pond, instead of continuing down the east jeep road, I strolled west over to  Rim Run to admire the view into the Valles Caldera. Then, because it remained a splendid day with no threat of thunderstorms and not a reason in the world to hurry, I retraced my steps to the Mother Lift where I took a trail in the woods to the Yeamans Bench.

On various visits to the Yeamans bench, I've failed to notice (or forgotten) the plaque on the front. It reads: Dedicated in loving memory of Steven Karl Yeamans October 8, 1959-January 11, 1999 by his friends and family.
The bench is situated on the south side of Pajarito Mountain and has sweeping views on which to contemplate.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tough As Nails - Not Me!

At Nail Trail, very nifty sign made of nails. Legend is that someone put roofing nails on the trail resulting in lots of flat bike tires and thus the name.

I say the trail got its name from this short, "tough as nails" section where you skip from rock to rock and hope to stay upright and unbroken!