|Some type of crystal somebody stuck on the end of a branch|
We fully intended to turn around and retrace our steps, but there were people hiking this side of the mountain that represented encounters we did not want so we kept going east.
My intent was to find an easy way to bushwhack back to the lower loop road, but I led us instead through a treacherous patch of catclaw that slowed our progress significantly and scratched us as catclaw always does. With patience we found our way through without real damage to humans or Heelers.
By the time we got back to Whitey the CR-V we were all pretty hot; we're headed for a high of 78F today. There were only a few vehicles parked in the Monte Vista lot when we left, but the Sunset Area on the west side of Tortugas was absolutely jam-packed.
|Steep northern face of Tortugas Mountain|
|Around the east side of the mountain|
|This and the next: west of the Organ Mountains|
|Dealing with Heelers|
|Many flowers of the mustard variety blooming in the desert|
|The trail we took|
|Social distancing on the trail behind the mountain|
|Trail of flowers|
|This and the next: headed east toward the Organs|
|10 Commandments of hiking|
|Last 2: Tortugas Mountain from the east|