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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Solitude in Soledad Canyon

Starting into the canyon
Dr. K, Becca and I headed into Soledad Canyon early this morning, and we did a nearly two-hour hike before running into other outdoor enthusiasts.  Most of them were headed up the trail as we were headed out.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we three took full advantage of it.  Becca was in her usual I-love-hiking mood as she smelled what seemed like every other plant and bush in the entire canyon.  Soledad offers some spectacular scenery, and I took as many photos as necessary--143 to be precise.  Fortunately, Dr. K is a very patient person, and she lets me indulge my hobby without criticism.  She says the frequent stops give her more time to thoroughly enjoy the desert.
Heading up a steep incline

Deeper into rugged territory

Fendler's Penstemon

Cold-canyon Phlox?

Feather Dalea

No tree ID

I'm going with Cold-canyon Phlox (Phlox stansburyi)

Even deeper into the canyon

Climbing out of an arroyo to higher ground

Hitting the high trail

Sotols growing all over the mountain

The happiest hiker in Soledad Canyon

Sotols with one and two stalks
Rugged highlands

Just about to start down again


At the center is Tortugas Mountain (4,931 feet), where Becca and I hike daily

A forest of Sotol growing on the steep slope

Heading into low country

Casita Grande

Sotol and Juniper on the mountain's flank

At the base of the vertical rock (center) is a waterfall

Homesteader's rock ruins

More of the ruins have collapsed since last we were here

A look back

High desert grassland (there was a huge fire here years ago)

Tufted Globe-amaranth

This and the others:  Mexican Gold Poppy

Through a sea of yellow grass

Headed for the far shore

Indian Paintbrush

A giant Sotol

Interesting rock formation near the trailhead

Windmill in bad need of repair


Dr. K said...

Flowers blooming, beautiful weather, great company--what more can you want?

packrat said...

Indeed, Dr. K. :)

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