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Monday, November 30, 2015

Scraping Ice

There's a dog behind that partially-scraped windshield
I was surprised by the somewhat thick layer of ice on RAV4's windows this morning, and slightly dismayed that I had to scrape it off before our trip to Tortugas Mountain.  30 F felt rather cold out at the mountain, and both Becca and I were glad when we got out of the Tortoise's shadow and into the sun.  On the inbound leg we ran into JC and Olivia, and we all had a nice chat on the trek back to the trailhead--all except Becca, of course.
Reveling in the sunshine

Contrail meets mountain

Potrillo Mountains (25 miles southwest of Las Cruces)

At desert's edge

Far west of the Tortoise

Scouting the territory

Still scouting

Long way back to the mountain

Organ Mountains

Yucca and moon

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fog Alert

Some places had heavy fog
The weather woman this morning warned of potentially heavy fog, but we encountered none on our long trek even though we saw it in several locations--primarily at the base of the Organ Mountains.  The temperature was quite chilly around the Tortoise due to the heavy overcast and constant wind.  We were all dressed properly, though.  Although we saw three mountain bikers behind the mountain we didn't cross paths with any; the only person we bumped into was a German woman who we see frequently around Tortugas.  She's a big fan of Becca's and always has complimentary things to say about her.  
November 29th and Daisies are still in flower!

Hiking behind Tortugas Mountain

Prickly Pear pads and yellow blossoms

Becca staring up the mountain slope

Clouds and earth squeezing the Organ Mountains

Organ Mountains, southern chain of the Rockies

Smoke-signal clouds

A couple of tall Torrey Yuccas

Clouds lifting and descending on the Organs

Rabbits ears

Right before encountering a German woman hiker

Striking east

Distant dirt road

We've hiked that road countless times

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gloomy Desert Day

Hiking under heavy overcast
Windy, cold and cloudy:  those were the weather conditions during the entire hike Becca and I took this morning at Tortugas Mountain.  It's such an anomaly when the sun doesn't shine in the desert that it induces an almost immediate seasonal affective disorder.  One thing that buoyed my spirits were the howls and yelps of Coyotes nearby, and my fervent hope that we'd get to see a couple of the critters.  No such luck today.  Oh well--it was good to get in some exercise nonetheless.
Bishop Cap

The Organ Mountains are out there somewhere

Pointing west

Crossing the Cross-Cut Trail

Closer to Bishop Cap

Where water flows in the desert

Clouds lift over the Organs

Desert between here and Bishop Cap

Tortugas Mountain (aka "The Tortoise")

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dynamic Morning on the Grand View

Let's get rolling
Because of yesterday's nearly all-day storm (from which we got almost 1.5 inches of rain) the morning weather conditions were really dynamic.  Never in all the years we've been hiking the Grand View Trail have we been immersed in low clouds blowing through the high country on strong winds.  We were treated to some breath-taking sights, though.  Then later, heading down the mountain for home, we were enveloped in fog that made driving conditions rather hazardous.  In the quarter of a century we've been frequenting the Sacramentos we have not had to deal with this meteorological phenomenon.
Clouds hugging the high country

Surprised to see a lizard in late November

Rails-to-Trails ramada in the clouds (aka "fog")

Becca beats us to the shelter

Blue sky showing through

The trail ahead

Becca looking for wild mustangs

Clouds come and go

Something of a Zen aesthetic

The Tularosa Basin is down there somewhere

Low clouds in the valley

Clouds obscure White Sands

Clouds mimic a forest fire

Desert Life

1st 2:  Willow in yucca shadow It was so windy and the air was so bad this morning that Dr. K, Willow and I did only our regular hike. Not s...