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Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Morning Along the Rim

Starting on the Rim Trail from Parking Area #4
Dr. K, Becca and I put some miles on our paws this morning as we did a long hike on the Rim Trail from Parking Area #4.  Amazingly, on a Saturday, we ran into absolutely no-one else.  We did kick up a few deer and elk, but they were so anxious to avoid us I didn't even have time to get my camera out of its carrying case.  When we were headed back to Cloudcroft I stopped at the ranger station to see if I could find a book I'd been looking for, but we were surprised to find the place closed.  Dr. K suggested the closure on weekends has to do with cutbacks.
Indian Paintbrush

Way up ahead on the narrow trail

A work of modern art

Quaking Aspens

Packrat and Becca

Dr. K and Becca

Packrat on a toppled Ponderosa Pine rootball

Rocky Mountain Irises are blooming all over the Sacramento Mountains

Blending in perfectly

Rocket-like Aspen

Three contented consumers of gorp

View of the Tularosa Basin from the Rim Trail

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ogling the Osha

Just starting out on the Osha Trail
Dr. K, Becca and I did a hike on the Osha Trail just outside of Cloudcroft, New Mexico this morning.  59 degrees Fahrenheit for the entire trek.  Afterward we jettisoned a small amount of garbage in a Cloudcroft dumpster, stopped at Allsups to buy trail mix and four gallons of drinking water then drove down Burro Street to look at the tourists scoping out all the shops.  We use the bottled water for drinking and cooking because, even though our well water is potable and filtered, it has a "slippery" quality to it--almost like soft water.
One of the happiest hikers

Looking toward White Sands National Monument

Highway 82 in the Sacramento Mountains

Mountain Rose

Getting ahead of herself

Western Columbine

Everything is leafing out

Aspen stand

Rocky Mountain Iris

Rocky Mountain Iris

Becca and Dr. K

Becca and Packrat

Preparing for takeoff

Iris and Aspen

I'm pretty certain something's coming up the trail behind us

Chokecherry flowers

Come out to the meadow Bonnie Jean

Slithering mass of tent caterpillars

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rolling in High Rolls

Absolutely no idea what this little flower is
We've been in High Rolls for a few hours now, and it's really quite nice:  overcast and cool.  It was thundering when we were transferring supplies from the Jeep to the house.  Dr. K seems to think we have about a 50% chance of rain.  Let's see if she's right.  She knows a lot about composition and rhetoric, but not too much about meteorology.  Becca is really happy to be up here.  She's already had an encounter with the Black Lab, Champ, who was the only neighbor dog to come to greet us.
Happy to be in the high country

It's been overcast since we got here at noon

Sand Verbena

Dr. K with work gloves; time to get busy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Midweek Furnace Blast

Shade break about a mile in
Headed for 95 F today, and it was already too hot this morning when Becca and I hit the trail around Tortugas Mountain.  There were a few other crazies out there, too.  When we got home I prepared the Jeep for tomorrow morning's trip into the high country, then took it out for a fill-up.  Upon my return I decided it was time to bathe Becca, so I gave her a good bath.  She's really quite good about getting washed--almost completely cooperative with me.  Now she's all soft and fluffy.  (See last image.)
No clouds in the sky

Sunny and dry

Want to know what Becca's staring at?

A man and his dog (below red dot at right)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Plenty Hot!

Desperate for shade
The temperature this morning was radically different than yesterday.  Yesterday was cool, windy and overcast.  Today was sunny, clear and hot.  We're headed for 93 F, with hotter temps looming on the horizon.  Fortunately we'll be traveling to the high country soon, though I suspect it will even be hot up there.  Surprisingly, for a Tuesday morning, a lot of outdoor enthusiasts were on and about the mountain.  We only ran into one other hiker, though, close in to Tortugas.
It's as hot as it looks

This yucca could "spur" you on

This bush is called Allthorn

Now you see why

Cane Cholla at home

Closeup of the flowers

A different Cholla at the ranch

Heat is On Again

Headed down LDR-A arroyo to yucca shade for Wils The desert floor hasn't been cooling off very much during the overnight hours, and the ...