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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chilled Bones

Bushwhacking for this view
23F when we got up this morning, 26F when I started a hike west of Tortugas Mountain.  Weather.com erroneously reported the wind at 1 mph, but it was blowing hard while I trekked in the shadow of the mountain.  I was dressed appropriately, but the gusts made it feel muy frio out there.  The cold forced me to do some bushwhacking in order to reach the sunshine sooner than I would have normally.

By the time I ran into Jimmy on my return leg I had removed my gloves and my ear flaps, already warming up nicely.  He and I talked for quite a while before parting company.

When I returned home Dr. K and I headed over to Walgreens to get our flu shots, and we had to wait a significantly long time before finally getting them.  The store was very busy, and one woman worker said they were understaffed today.  Yipee!
Huge old Torrey Yucca

Road to Tortugas

Torrey Yucca west of the mountain

Curve-billed Thrasher

This and the next 2:  Ladder-backed Woodpecker



Curve-billed Thrasher again

Soaptree Yucca

Ladder-backed Woodpecker in a Soaptree Yucca stalk

Arroyo

A look at above arroyo from on high

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Barely Ahead of the Wind

Early start
It was chilly when I started off west of Tortugas Mountain this morning (45F), but I managed to do about two-thirds of a morning trek before the wind picked up.  The wind is the leading edge of a cold front that will drop our temperature into the low 20s tonight.

About a quarter of my hike was comprised of bushwhacking in the outback, where I saw no one, with the exception of one Black-tailed Jackrabbit running away from me.  But on my return to the mountain I ran into Renee and his dog Rayo who were descending the upper foothills trail.  I scratched Rayo on the head and greeted Renee; they were headed around the mountain on the outer loop road and were eager to keep going before the wind picked up.  So we quickly parted company.  I encountered nobody else, though a fair number of vehicles occupied the Sunset Area parking lot, and five or six cars and trucks were parked along the access road.

The wind is howling now (1:15 p.m.), and the temperature is dropping from the mid-50s.  Going to be very cold overnight.
This and the next 5:  still in the shadow of Tortugas Mountain






Following the single-track west of the mountain

Lady Ana Mountains

Looking at the sun

Road around the mountain

Further west of Tortugas

This and the rest:  doing some serious bushwhacking





Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Back Down Low

Clouds at start
My early morning hike west of Tortugas Mountain was made interesting by three people and a dog:  Renee and Rayo (canine), Jimmy and Raymond.  I got to pet Rayo while chatting with Renee briefly.  After they left to finish their trek I bumped into my pal Jimmy on the mountain road.  He and I were talking when our friend Raymond approached.  Raymond couldn't talk, though, because he was pressed for time.

Jimmy and I palavered for quite a spell during which he informed me that he'd already bought my Kindle ebook before I had a chance to send him a link to it on Amazon.  That was really a kind gesture, but I felt guilty he had to pay for it.  If he decides to read the novel I hope he'll feel as if he got his money's worth.

After I returned home I had to leave for the weekly shopping trip to Target and Albertsons, a chore I didn't seem to mind too much today.  Give it a week, though, and I'll be griping about having to do it again.

Shadow of Tortugas

Probably contrails

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Trail to the road

Deep gully on Tortugas's west side

Outer loop road

House Finch

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hike With a Grand View

Wooly Paperflower
Dr. K and I got a very early start on a morning hike on the Grand View Trail.  Although it wasn't too cold, there was a stiff wind and very little sun to take the edge off the chill.  We were appropriately dressed, though, so we were warm enough for a short 1 1/2-hour trek.

The only person we saw out there was an Asian woman who was finishing just as we were starting off.  After that we had the entire trail to ourselves; we didn't even hear any vehicles going down or coming up Fresnal Canyon Road.

After the hike we returned to the cabin to finish packing for our trip back to the lower desert, where it's also very windy.
Cloud cover and wind this morning

Long view to the San Andres Mountains

Indian Paintbrush

Buckwheat and Soaptree Yucca leaves

Cool and cloudy

Looking toward White Sands

White Sands in shadow

Indian Paintbrush again

Buckwheat and Paintbrush

Four-wing Saltbush

This and the next:  yellow flowers :)


Headed back to the trailhead

Trees

Making the bend on the final stretch

Arroyo Nuevo

Different perspectives from a new hike As soon as Willow, Frio and I exited the CR-V at the trailhead this morning I realized we wouldn'...