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Sunday, January 5, 2014

In the High Foothills

The Sierra Vista Trail
It was rather a raw winter morning in the Chihuahuan Desert when Dr. K, Becca and I started hiking on the Sierra Vista Trail.  The wind was blowing strongly and the clouds filtered the sunlight.  It felt better as our bodies warmed from physical exertion.  But in several places--notably in deep washes--the temperature was at least five degrees cooler; that's because cold air from the mountains sinks into the arroyos and runs downhill like a frigid river.  Back at the trailhead we ran into an old friend, Dave, and his dog, Varmint.
Becca is eager to get moving

Forging ahead

Bureau of Land Management marker

Some people live right at the base of the Organ Mountains

How far did we come?  Take note of the small hill at left

Sotol (aka "Desert Spoon") is a member of the Lily family

A large patch of Prickly Pear Cactus

Remember the small hill?  The parking lot is just this side of it


Dr. K said...

At least it wasn't as cold as it is at the San Fran-Green Bay game.

Scott said...

Packrat: Nice images. I particularly liked the image of the houses cowering under the face of the Organs, which exhibited some nice color variation.

You weren't explicit about the temperatures; just gave us some relatives based on topography. Here in the northern Piedmont, we were forecast to get to 44 degrees today with rain. What we got was dense overcast, sleet early this morning which coated the (generous) remaining snow with a treacherous glaze, and a high that got to 35. The weather forced me to stay indoors and work on furniture repair (which made Kali happy) that I had been putting off. A productive but dismal day.

packrat said...

I believe we only reached 50 F, Scott, but we're slated to hit only the low-to-mid 40s today. We got just the tail end of that Arctic cold air mass that sunk down into the country.

Off-Trail Trek

Soaptrees near and far After an extended period of bushwhacking when we returned to the left branch arroyo to resume our normal hike Dr. K s...