|Prickly Pear Cactus--what Frio will learn to avoid|
The first encounter was not exactly what I'd hoped for; Frio put on a somewhat aggressive show, barking sharply at Jimmy and lassoing him with the retractable lead. But Jimmy--no stranger to dogs and lover of them--was not in the least worried. He suggested we all hike together, and we did, dropping into the low desert before following the trail that loops around Tortugas. After heading south for a mile or so we took a right on the far outer loop trail and trekked north for another mile or so before taking the single-track east back onto the high foothills trail. Frio was a perfect gentleman throughout.
It was really nice of Jimmy to offer to come along, which allowed Frio the first opportunity to meet a stranger out in our section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert. By the time Frio popped up into the rear compartment of the Jeep he and Jimmy had become friendly; when Jimmy extended his hand Frio licked his fingers.
Although Frio had the complete run of the Jeep's rear compartment--back seats folded down--he chose to ride shotgun both to and from the mountain. I have no doubt he'd drive the vehicle if I let him.
|Frio spots a jackrabbit|
|Diamonds dangling from Crucifixion Thorn (actually raindrops)|
|Clouds partially blanketing the Franklin Mountain near El Paso, Texas|
|Jimmy holds Frio's lead when we stop for a photo-op (Frio stretches)|
|Frio and me|
|Turned out to be a gorgeous morning after the rain, though really humid|
|Closer look at the Organ Mountains|
|Devil's Head Cactus (far left) beside the four stems of a Hedgehog Cactus|
|Last shot of Jimmy before he heads for parts unknown|