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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snowy Trek

Looking down from the Osha Trail (9,000 ft.)
The Osha Trail was a lot more snow-covered than we'd anticipated--about three-fourths of its entire length.  Nevertheless, it was good hiking, and we only ran into one family of Texans from Odessa who'd never hiked here before.  When we got back all four neighbor dogs--Hailey, Champ, Hoss and Cowboy came to greet us.  The video below is of Hoss (brown Lab) and Cowboy (Australian Shepherd) playing with Becca (Border Collie/Cattle Dog mix).
Getting started on the clear portion of the trail

The trail soon turns snowy

A narrow length of icy/snowy trail

Sunlight filtered through forest to spotlight fall's last leafy vestiges

A bit greater accumulation here

No, not a train depot

Becca and a young stand of Aspens

Dr. K pausing to take in the sights

Becca and Packrat


Friday, November 29, 2013

Long Hike to Bridal Veil Falls

Dr. K on the bridge over Fresnal Creek
Dr. K, Becca and I did a nice, long hike down to Bridal Veil Falls, and we didn't run into any other outdoor enthusiasts until we had nearly returned to the trailhead.  Oddly, even though some of these images make it look as if it was really cold out there, the weather was quite nice.  About one-fourth of the way back from the falls I had to remove my jacket because I felt too warm.  Not bad for November 29th in the high desert near High Rolls/Mountain Park New Mexico.
Packrat and Becca

A huge creek bank in Salado Canyon

Abandoned ranch house near the falls

Still snowy near the falls

Tobosa Realty sign I've photographed before

Bridal Veil Falls

Standing in the snow and ice

White Sands National Monument (middle distance)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Late yesterday afternoon Dr. K took Becca out for a stroll around the property.  Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw them in the backyard, but when I looked there was a solitary Mule Deer just a few feet from the house.  These four pics are of her.  The other images come from our morning hike on the Grand View Trail, the one on which we ran into absolutely nobody.  Afterwards we made a trip up the mountain to Cloudcroft, dumped some refuse from the house, stopped at Allsup's for some bottled water and pastries, then drove back to High Rolls..

Dr. K ascending the first steep section of the Grand View Trail

Becca waiting for the pokey human hikers

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Almost All-Dog Blog Post

I am a rock
Becca and I did a medium hike this morning because we had to get back and finish packing for High Rolls, where we are now.  It's a little chillier up here, and the evidence of our recent snow is more apparent.  The guy who's cutting down dead pinyon pines for us has left them strewn about the property, some crowding the driveway pretty tightly.  I had to spend about a half hour moving them out of the way.  Fun.  I also set up the pumphouse heater to run from now through the winter.  Time for a little high-country relaxation now.
I am an island

Remnants of snow on the Organ Mountains

The long haul

See spot (center) run ahead

Who you calling "spot" sucker?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sun Makes a Return

Even though it was 27 F. this morning, the good old desert sun made a significant difference in the ambient temperature.  I had wisely worn a lighter-weight coat, and I was not sorry I had.  We did a moderately-long hike west of Tortugas Mountain, and on our way back--not far from the trailhead--we ran into Jimmy.  We stood talking Oryx Gazelle until JC and Shaque joined us; then the three of us shot the shoot while Becca and Shaque romped around.  I had to excuse myself from the congenial group because I had shopping to do and errands to run.  For some reason Becca seemed eager to go, too.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Where'd all the snow go?
The two inches of snow we got yesterday is all but a memory of a whitewashed desert.  Our overnight temperatures weren't as cold as predicted so the snow melted pretty quickly, and we didn't get the added precipitation that was predicted.  It is still pretty cold, and the sky, which is supposed to clear, is completely overcast. Surprisingly there were a lot of other hikers out today--probably many of the ones who were uneasy about traveling in yesterday's snowfall.
There's a little left on this Hedgehog Cactus

A first:  a toddler's shoe left behind on the trail

Remnant of snow on a baby Soaptree Yucca

Absence of the white stuff

A bit of snow on a Rainbow Hedgehog

Clouds becoming fog

Still snowy in the higher elevations

Gap between the Organ Mountains (left) and the Franklin Mountains

A large group of hikers on the trail around Tortugas Mountain

Not a whitewall tire

Snow on a Barrel Cactus

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....