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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Long Hike in a National Monument

Just getting started on the Sierra Vista Trail Norte
Dr. K, Becca and I headed out to Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument early this morning for an extended hike.  We were surprised by the large number of campers and RVers at the campground near the trailhead, but it was only at the very end of our hike that we ran into any outdoor enthusiasts:  a young woman and man, the latter holding a small black puppy he had picked up to carry past Becca.  The two hikers were very friendly, the woman commenting about how dynamic the morning looked with the clouds around the mountains.  Right before we finished our trek we encountered a woman with a dog (on a leash).  We exchanged "very pretty dog" comments.  The reason we bumped into no one for seven-eights of our hike had to do with the route we chose to follow:  a single-track that leads east all the way to the high western foothills of the Organ Mountains.  I'd venture to say we burned quite a lot of calories on our outing this morning.
Up on the first plateau

Follow the leader

Scouting around

Organ Mountain sandwich

Up the single-track

Triplets (Fishhook Barrel Cactus)

Brown thread trail

Headed for the very high foothills

Long way to go

Might as well keep moving

Banana Yucca and mountains


Large Barrel, small Barrel and Ocotillo

Becca and me

Becca and the Barrels

Barrel Cacti

Crissal Thrasher (Toxostoma crissale)

Heavy clouds over the Organ Mountains

Good light and shadow

Clouds pressing down

Single-track we've been following

Crazy clouds and Becca


Long view from just west of the Organs

Tortugas Mountain (left) is 4,931 feet in elevation

Rock outcrops

Deep canyon just west of the Organ Mountains

Quite an upthrust

The way we're heading

Becca in the lead as always

Not that far away

This close

Becca (barely noticeable) and Dr. K


On our way out

Rugged Organ Mountains

Almost a face

Fast-moving clouds over the mountains

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I'm glad we chose this less travelled single-track because the views were so gorgeous.

Monday's Meander

1st 2:  Tortugas and the Organs Warmish morning for our daily trek today.  We were thrown a curve ball when we had to alter our route just a...