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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Atop the Mountain

Starting out in the lowlands on the east side of Tortugas Mountain
Since it was very cool this morning, and I was hiking without my companion, I decided to climb a precariously steep trail to the top of Tortugas Mountain.  It's the old fluorite mining trail on the east side.  When I reached the road leading to the crest I ran into my buddy, Gregg, and we chatted for about twenty minutes.  Then I made my way to the very top before taking the saddle trail back down on the north side of the mountain.  All in all it was a very strenuous trek for a Sunday morning. 
Heading south before bending west

Yucca on the steep slope of the mountain

Eye on the sky

Heading west

Looking back at the Organ Mountains

Really steep climb

Looking down from the midway point

Rocky trail ahead

View to the east from the first plateau

Bishop Cap (left) and the Franklin Mountains on the horizon

High up on Tortugas

The old two-dome observatory is being dismantled

Graffiti art on the far side

A small Mesquite Tree almost at the top

Torrey Yucca at the mountaintop

Talked to my friend Gregg before he headed down the mountain road

Yuccas in front of the single-dome observatory

In need of a paint job

Tortugas Pueblo's shrine at the top of the mountain

Dripping Springs Road heads east to the Organs

Torrey Yucca and the Organ Mountains

An agave (left) sends up its flower stalk next to a Sotol

The Organ Mountains are part of the Rockies

Yuccas on the high slopes
My car (beneath the red dot)

Telephoto shot of my car

The steep northern slope of Tortugas

Ocotillo flower

Cactus Wren on an Ocotillo

Coming around the mountain

Striking east on a single-track

Getting close to the end

Haven't IDd this plant (obviously a legume)

A bouquet for my efforts


Dr. K said...

It was fun to follow the trail with you in this series of photos.

Scott said...

The "trail" to the top of the mountain that you chose looked too rocky to tackle. Kali would walk that route once, and then I'd never get her up there (that way) again! The section of the Appalachian Trail through Pennsylvania is reputed to be the rockiest section of the entire AT; every time I suggest a day hike on the AT, Kali says, "Oh, you mean on the 'ankle turner'" and then declines to go.

packrat said...

I've only hiked that route a handful of times, Scott, and Dr. K has never gone to the top with me on that trail. Becca has, though, but I'm always a bit leery about taking her up that route. There are a few places where you think to yourself, "Should I really have come this way?"

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