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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

To the Mountaintop

Idiots with guns
Becca and I were forced to shy away from the outback this morning because a couple of idiots with guns were shooting out of the back of a white pickup truck.  We hadn't planned to climb the mountain, but we did, taking the steep road to the top.  After a short respite there, during which I took some photos, we hiked down one of the trails on the western side of the mountain.  The trail was steep, rocky and treacherous, so we took our time descending.  It was great exercise, but it took a lot out of my old body.  Becca looked as if she could do it again without trouble.
Huge mounds (nearly 3 feet) of Strawberry Pitaya Cactus

A trail we frequently hike at the base of the mountain

Notice the Prickly Pear Cactus growing out of the rock

Up the steep road to the top

Looking back down the road
The NMSU rodeo grounds and the golf course behind

Nearing the top of Tortugas Mountain

The two-domed observatory now has only one

Dripping Springs Road leads straight to the Organ Mountains

Tortugas Mountain Observatory

Tortugas Mountain shrine
The single-dome observatory (still used for star parties)

The communication tower atop the mountain

The observatory is also used by geniuses who must leave their mark

Don't tread on me

Yucca, observatory, tower

The trail across the saddle looks as if it links up with Sonoma Ranch Road

4 comments:

JACQUELINE said...

What does the yucca see?

packrat said...

I wish I had some snappy reply to your comment, Jacqui, but I've got nothing.

:)

Dr. K said...

The shrine is interesting--I'd like to know the story behind it.

Scott said...

I like the yucca, observatory, and tower shot.

Jacqui's question sounds like the set-up for a joke, but I don't have a clever retort, either.

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