Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dome Road Winter Walk

Walked on Dome Road Thursday - only went as far as the intersection of Dome Road and FR36, just a little past Graduation Flats. Someone had driven in on snow-covered Dome Road at that turnoff. Other times I've been there this winter, the snow was too deep for anyone to have driven on and the only tracks were from cross country skiers. It was so tempting to just turn onto Dome Road and walk in the vehicle tracks and I did but only for the merest distance. I knew I had to save my energy, in short supply that day, for the walk back. Besides, when would I have wanted to turn back? Wish I could have walked the whole road and then called for a ride back!

On Dome Road, FR289, in Bandelier National Monument, not too far from NM4, looking back at contrails. Saw lots of signs that elk have been running around in the forest and back and forth across the road but saw not a single one. Before this week's Tuesday, February 23, snowfall, the road was almost completely dried out but after the infusion of new snow, there are long strips of snow on the sides and in the middle. The road is plowed for access to private property. The gate at NM4 is locked until April 15.

Is it perverse to consider the burnt woods beautiful? Maybe so but I do like their colors and their starkness. This is on the Scooter Peak side of the road. The burnt trees are the aftermath of the 2011 Las Conchas wildfire. This June, it will be 5 years post-fire. A lot of these dead and standing trees will surely topple this year. Even among the starkness, though, there is always new growth of young aspens.

This is on the side of the road where Bandelier's Upper Frijoles long ski trail is. I never noticed this stock pond before. This winter's snowfall has really filled it up.

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