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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Rain Late and Early

With the exception of the last image here all photos are a look at the sky during our trek today after a late rain yesterday and two brief, but hard, showers early this morning.  Even though the humidity was high the temperature was in the mid-40s with a persistent wind.  It felt pretty chilly out there for three-fourths of the shortened hike Becca and I took west of Tortugas Mountain.  Then the sun broke through scattered clouds to warm us up.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Heading Down

First view from the Grand View
Dr. K, Becca and I packed up before heading over to the Grand View Trail for our traditional "leaving the high country" hike; as it happens we did part of the upper Bridal Veil Falls Trail, too.  It was a beautiful morning, and we hated to leave the Sacramento Mountains behind, but duty calls.  High today in the low desert:  80F.  High in High Rolls:  57F.  Not bad in either locale, I guess.
Surprise photo

Through the cut

Could be regurgitated pellets from some bird of prey

Midpoint ramada

White Sands from the Grand View

Closer look at the midway ramada

Fall color in Three-leaf Sumac

Manzanita leaves (Arctostaphylos species)

Down the Grand View Trail

Footbridge over the creek

The old railroad trestle

Two happy hikers:  Dr. K and Becca

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Salado Canyon to the Falls

Don't know what this is, but it's pretty
Dr. K, Becca and I decided if we couldn't park at the Bridal Veil Falls Trail lot we'd continue down the mountain and park at the trailhead for Salado Canyon.  There was nobody around when we reached the pullout so we enjoyed a long, leisurely trek through the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls.  We explored a dirt road we'd never hiked before and couldn't believe our luck in encountering a Red-tailed Hawk who wasn't in a hurry to leave.  I got some pretty good photos of him.  We only bumped into a few people on the way back, a lone woman hiker approaching the falls as we were departing, and a man and woman hiking with a dog that looked a lot like a coyote.  All in all we spent several gratifying hours in the canyon.
No switchbacks here

Reconnoitering from the midway point

Looking back at the way we've come

Interesting stratified rock

There's the happy hiker

Looking up canyon

Dangerous drop off from the trail at left

Soaptree Yucca and Cottonwood

Becca's in a hurry to reach the falls

Wonder how long that "junker" has been there

Getting closer to the falls

Big Cottonwood

Yellow leaves highlighted by sun

Bridal Veil Falls in background

Small pouroff

Water not running too hard

Closer look at the falls

An area of color in the high desert

Hard to tell, but the creek runs through here

Cottonwoods on the banks of the creek

Browning Cottonwood leaves

We climbed an old road we'd never explored before

Much to our delight we encountered this Red-tailed Hawk

What are you three doing here?

You could open a can with that beak

Mr. Redtail flew to another tree

I was able to get some good shots of him

Beautiful markings

Headed back

A quick glance at what we left behind

The creek creates a riparian (riverbank) woodland

Pools of water in the bottom

Plants and animals rely on this water source

Passing the steep drop off once again (with Becca on lead)

Down the steep staircase once again

First Workweek Hike

Wilster Saving grace out there this morning was a constant breeze; it kept the temperature from feeling as bad as it actually was. We altere...