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Friday, December 3, 2010

Around the Mountain

Jet contrail above Tortugas Mountain
It was 25 degrees F when we started off this morning, but the temperature is slated to reach 69 F by afternoon.  There was a lot of airline activity in the desert skies.

We made a complete circuit around Tortugas (Tortoise) Mountain, a trip of 1 1/2 hours (slightly over 3 1/2 miles).  The Dripping Springs Road side of the mountain (the north) is the least enjoyable because the road carries heavy traffic from the small community of Talavera--people heading to work in Las Cruces.

The trail around the north side of the mountain
Once you bend around the eastern flank of the mountain, the environment becomes serene.  Although dirt roads cross the desert on the southern and western sides of the mountain, vehicles are fairly rare.  We ran into nobody on our hike.
Northern flank of Tortugas Mountain

On the trail headed east

Northeast flank of Tortugas Mountain

Grassland around the mountain

On the southwest side of the mountain

Chihuahuan Desert flora

New Mexico State University observatory atop Tortugas Mountain

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

It's so nice to have the trail to yourself.

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