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Sunday, May 13, 2018

National Monument on Mother's Day

Getting started on the Sierra Vista Trail Norte (Soledad Rocks trailhead)
Dr. K, Becca and I drove to the parking area across from the Sierra Vista Trail Norte trailhead early this morning, but we weren't the first people there; a group of Search & Rescue members were beginning to gather for an exercise with their dogs.  We easily outpaced the group, and later discovered that they were using the area immediately around Soledad Rocks for practice purposes.  On the way back we did encounter several of the participants and their dogs, and we discovered a parking lot filled with them when we headed back to our car, even having to navigate past a few to get into our Jeep.  I imagine there's no better area to practice Search & Rescue maneuvers than the rugged territory on and about Soledad Rocks.
Sheer west side of Soledad Rocks

North of Soledad Rocks

There's a mountain biker in this shot (probably impossible to spot)

Becca and Dr. K

We're headed northwest now

Checking out the terrain

The rugged Organ Mountains

Down a steep section of the trail

This way to a small oasis

Western Soapberry trees

Good thing I can fly (House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus)

Desert Willow at the oasis

An abundance of plant life at this arroyo oasis

3-foot Barrel Cactus

Beyond the village of Talavera is Tortugas Mountain (elevation 4,931 feet)

It's a steep climb to get out of the deep chasm

On the trail north of  Soledad Rocks

Closing in on the rocks

Still closer

Ever closer

For as little rain as we've had of late the desert is surprisingly green

Just west of Soledad Rocks

Prickly Pear

Cholla flower

Yet another Cholla flower

Blind Prickly Pear

Mexican Bird of Paradise

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

This is always a nice trail. It's pretty rugged because it's in the foothills of the Organ Mountains.

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