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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Snow Day Hike

Looking out a living room window
It was 26F when Dr. K, Becca and I left the house for a morning trek on the far side of Tortugas Mountain; it was 31F when we returned.  The temperature never rose above freezing.  Only one black SUV occupied the Monte Vista parking lot when we got out there, and even though we saw a single hiker's footprints in the snow we never saw any humans during our trek.  Dr. K wanted to accompany Becca and me because of the overnight snowfall, and it was extremely beautiful in our section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert; but it was cold, and an intermittent wind made conditions feel even worse.  Back at the area where we'd left Whitey the CR-V an old white pickup was parked nearby, two photographers standing in the bed taking photos of the Organ Mountains, the range looking pretty spectacular in clouds and snow.
Trail up to the loop trail

West alongside the northern slopes of Tortugas Mountain

You can barely see the disc of the sun

Boulder and the distant Organs

Becca and Dr. K have reached the loop trail

Southeast along the outer loop trail

Our favorite boulder with a thin snow cover

Following the loop trail on the north side of Tortugas Mountain

House-size boulder

Bishop Cap looking like a frosted cake
Organ Mountains peeking through cloud cover

Boulders covered in powdered sugar

Dr. K and Becca behind the mountain

Crazy snow patterns

Becca scoping out the territory

Oops

Talavera and the Organs

Snap it up, Pops

The sun just can't break through

Organ Mountains in cloud and snow

The long view

Becca and Dr. K

Yuccas

Trail across a small tableland

Torrey Yucca sporting some snow

Eager to keep going

Becca and me

Becca waiting while Dr. K descends a hill

Village of Talavera at the base of the Organ Mountains

Another long view

Torrey Yucca at the side of the trail

Same yucca

Heading down to the lower desert

Snow-covered Organ Mountains in cloud

Still descending

Going down

A steep descent

Snowy hills and the distant Organ Mountains

Closer look at the Organs

Guests at the Hilton Garden Inn

A look at the north face of Tortugas

Monte Vista parking lot and the Doña Ana Mountains

Barrel Cactus with a dusting of snow
Late arrivals

Seems an odd perch to attract so many pigeons

Cholla with snow frosting

Snow-covered Prickly Pear

Another view of the Cholla

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

These are spectacular photos, Packrat. We don't see snow around here very often, or these very cold temperatures.

Bushwhack, Etc.

Sure sign of autumn in the desert:  leafless Ocotillos 71F when Willow, Frio and I hit the trail this morning, but it felt much hotter--humi...