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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Up and Over Tortugas Mountain

Starting up the steep trail to the saddle
I decided to climb Tortugas Mountain this morning, climbing the steep trail to the saddle to get to the top.  After I took photos there I was going to walk down the road on the mountain's west side, but huge dump trucks were dropping loads of dirt for road work purposes so I decided to descend on the rocky trail that heads straight down the east side of Tortugas.  It's a treacherous descent along an area that was heavily mined in the past, but I took my time and was especially careful where I put my boots for each downward step.  I got some good images today, but I took far too many photos (181), and I sometimes really wish I wouldn't do that.
Precipitous climbing this far up

Organ Mountains

A large arroyo runs diagonally across this image

Getting higher

Dripping Springs Road runs east all the way to the Organ Mountains

Higher still

Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Texas on the horizon

Tortugas Mountain Observatory (needs a paint job)

Clouds blanketing part of the Organ Mountains

A loftier view of Dripping Springs Road

The rugged Organ Mountains

A little friend I bumped into on the mountaintop

He looks ticked off at my presence

I had hoped to quickly ID this tiny critter, but no luck; type of wren?

Tortugas Pueblo shrine

Western side of the shrine

Observatory is still in use
Cactus growing in rock

Part of Tortugas and the Organs beyond

Looking from atop Tortugas to the distant Organ Mountains

First in a series of Organ Mountain cloud photos

Closer view

More Organs

Some rugged climbing there

Sotol (left) and a yucca

Can't get enough of those Organ Mountains

Composition experiment

I'm wandering around the high ground on Tortugas Mountain

Heavier cloud blanket rolling in

Torrey Yucca
Satellite view of Mars?  No--Chihuahuan Desert rock

I'm descending on the east side of Tortugas now

Ferns and shadow

Some type of fern

Same fern as before

Believe it or not this is the way down

The homes are in a subdivision called Organ Mesa Ranch

Tortugas is a very rocky mountain

Rock with "veins"

Still descending

This is the "trail" I just came down

Organ Mountains and a Sotol stalk

Closeup of the Sotol stalk

Hell of a trail to come down

Getting down to ground level

One last look at the trail I descended

The rocky Organ Mountains

The trail around the north side of Tortugas Mountain

The tortugas ("turtle") at the Sunset Area ramada

Becca eating a Busy Bone

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

It was nice to get a whole different perspective on Tortugas mountain. The photos of the Organs show how magnificent they are. I'm glad you were careful coming down the mountain, Packrat.

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...