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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grandview Otra Vez

Fire across the valley this morning
Before we got started this morning we spotted a fire burning in the mountains across the valley from the High Desert Research Institute.  Fortunately, it appeared to have burned out later in the day.

We spent the morning hiking the Grandview Trail, one of our favorites in the Sacramento Mountains.  Oddly, though it is Saturday, we ran into nobody.  Neither Dr. K nor Becca complained about the absence of other hikers.  Being the solitary mountain man that I am, I certainly didn't complain.
Clever rock cairn

View from our cabin porch.  Not!

Cactus from rock

The Beckster on the Grandview Trail

Dynamic high desert

Dr. K reads about birds

Flowers and thorns

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Old Cloudcroft Highway Trail

Becca at the start of T-5002
We did a wonderful hike along T-5002 this morning, down the Old Cloudcroft Highway and out to the Mexican Canyon Trestle vista.  We only ran into a few other people.  It was cool and humid in the forest, and it rained a little on our way back to High Rolls.

Mountain greenery

The Old Cloudcroft Highway

Good directions

Becca reading tree rings
Cloud-Climbing Railroad trestle over Mexican Canyon

Tree-ring mandela


Looking down canyon


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Osha Redux

Trees, glorious trees
We love the Osha Trail so much, we did it again.  We were not disappointed.  We ran into only one small group of people, one of whom (an elderly gentleman) was wearing Outdoor Research gainters like mine.  He wasn't sure if he had them on the right way, so he checked mine out, then felt good that he had them on properly.  I'm often used as the standard for mountain men to go by.

Becca at work along the Osha Trail

Meadow

Smiley flowers

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rim Trail Redux

Heading out on the Rim Trail
We did a cool morning hike on the middle section of the Rim Trail.  The weather was beautiful--cool and slightly humid.  Toward the end of the hike thunderbumpers were building over the mountains, punctuating the beauty with celestial rumblings.

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Through an Aspen grove


Old-timey trail marker


View toward White Sands


Precious flower

Violet?

8-Mile Post

Indian Paintbrush

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New and Improve(?) Osha Trail

Becca gets a big headstart on the Osha Trail
Today was the first time we hiked the Osha Trail since the construction on the Mexican Canyon trestle took out the original trailhead.  The new parking area is larger, and the new first leg of the trail adds a little distance.  But the original first leg included a strenuous elevation gain that the new one lacks.  The trail is as beautiful as ever, though.  Cloudcroft city council plans to ruin the trail in the future, however, by adding a touristy horseback riding venture.  That will really shit the whole place up.

At the first trail junction


The joys of pollination

Around the mountainb on the Osha Trail

The Mexican Canyon trestle

Construction on the trestle vista area

Highway 82 out of Cloudcroft, New Mexico (White Sands in background)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Forest Opened At Last

Leader of the pack
Dr. K, Becca and I got to do one of our favorite hikes in the Sacramento Mountains:  the Grandview Trail.  So nice to see the Lincoln National Forest finally opened.  Even though is was incredibly humid from yesterday's rains, we thoroughly enjoyed the trek.  It rained again as soon as we got back to the High Desert Research Institute, and it's threatening to rain again now.  Let it rain.

Gazebo in the perfect place along the Grandview Trail

Packrat and Becca in the gazebo


Dr. K and Becca in the gazebo


Spectacular Sacramento Mountains

Leader from start to finish

Sunday, July 24, 2011

High Rolls High

A very happy camper
Up in the Sacramento Mountains for a few weeks.  We've already had a good soaking from thunderstorms up here.  Since the Lincoln National Forest is finally reopened, we're looking forward to getting in some nice mountain hikes.

View from HiDRI


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Trek

One content hound
Becca and I made a big loop hike west of Tortugas this morning.  We didn't run into anybody, but there were quite a few hikers/bikers/joggers about.  The temp was in the low 70s, but the humidity was 83%, thereby making the day seem quite muggy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rain Day?

Dark clouds over Tortugas
All during our morning hike it seemed as if it could rain at any minute; but it didn't.  Now, at mid-afternoon, it still hasn't rained.  It is quite humid, though, and rain is definitely in the forecast for the evening.  Let's hope we get it.  We need the moisture really badly.
Northwestern side of Tortugas Mountain

Rain near El Paso

Another dirt road


Queen of the hill

The Potrillo Mountains across the fertile Mesilla Valley

Again on the Grand View

At the lower trailhead Willow, Frio, Dr. K and I did the Grand View Trail again this morning, hiking nearly all of it today.  We ran into on...