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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thunderbird Conservation Park

I'm out in Glendale, Arizona because my elderly mother passed away the day after Christmas.  Thunderbird Conservation Park is a place she loved, so I've been fortunate enough to do several short hikes since I've been here.  It's a gorgeous natural conservation area, but I am not used to hiking with so many other people and sharing the trail with numerous mountain bikers.  Nevertheless, it's good to get out into the Sonoran Desert once again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Change of Plans

We tried to do the Osha Trail just outside of Cloudcroft this morning, but the snow was so deep we couldn't even get started.  Instead, we did the Grandview Trail for the fourth time during this trip to High Rolls.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cut our Sacramento Mountains vacation short by a week.  I'll be traveling to Phoenix tomorrow, so blog postings will be on a temporary hiatus.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas-Day Hike

A sea of clouds in the Tularosa Basin
From tracking our footprints it seems that in the three times Dr. K, Becca and I have done the Grandview Trail since the big snow nobody else has hiked there; no-one of the human variety, that is.  Plenty of elk, deer, canid and rabbit prints prove that many wild hikers have frequented the environs.  We don't mind sharing the trail with the ones who truly belong there.

San Andres Mountains in snow

Becca in snow

Clouds rolling up-canyon

Snow melting in the high country

Saturday, December 24, 2011

After the Snow Storm

Still snowy on the Grandview Trail
We did the Grandview Trail this morning even though it was slightly windy and a lot cold.  There were snow flurries coming down, but nothing of substance.  In sections of the trail where the snow was still pretty deep hiking was pretty slow going. Nonetheless, we got a good bit of exercise in after not being able to get out on the trails at all yesterday because of horrible conditions.
Clouds rolling in from the Tularosa Basin

Ms. Energy

If only I could go over there with impunity

Hiking in the clouds

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Abbreviated Osha Trail Hike

Frosty at the Osha Trail head
We had to cut our Osha Trail hike a little short because the conditions were poor for hiking.  After climbing the initial leg--where other hikers had been already--we quickly ran out of footsteps to follow on the loop trail.  We managed to hike in an ATV track for about half an hour, but it was tough sledding.  Walking in a narrow track is extremely difficult.  There was over a foot of snow in the high country, so we decided against trailblazing in the untrammelled sections.  We had a good time, nonetheless.
Dr. K and Becca starting off

Over a foot of snow near Cloudcroft

Snow Dog leading the pack

Is that an American Crow?

Wide stance

ATV track

Down the Osha Trail

On the trail near Cloudcroft, New Mexico

The Sacramento Mountains

Mexican Canyon trestle

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snow is Melting, But . . .

Plenty of snow left in the high countty
The temperature here in High Rolls was about 40 F. today, and the snow has been melting--making for a sloppy environment.  However, things will be changing again by Thursday, when another snow storm is supposed to barrel through. 

Dr. K moving ahead on the trail

Crazy for snow

Dr. K takes a break

Peaceful scene (with nutty dog)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

High Desert Snow

Images taken after a heavy snow in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert.

Grandview Trail in Snow

Here in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico we had a pretty big 24-hour snow event, lasting from Sunday night into Monday night.  This morning, Dr. K, Becca and I were the first hikers out on the Grandview Trail outside of High Rolls.  The trail was covered in 6 to 8 inches of the white stuff--the wet heavy kind.  It made slow going, but we did the entire trail.  It was a veritable winter wonderland.

Grand View--Not

Early morning moon A man and woman were just starting down the Bridal Veil Falls Trail when we rolled into the Grand View Trail parking lot....