|Formations on the mesa to the southwest|
One-third of this morning's trek was reasonably comfortable despite the colder air, but when the wind picked up after that it felt a bit brutal out there. The wind was consistently strong, with few gusts, but it persisted throughout the rest of the hike. I was chilled to the bone by the time I finished up.
There were a few other people out and about today, and I encountered what appeared to be a mother/daughter team just as I was climbing back to the high foothills trail. The young woman was college student age, and her mother (assuming, of course) looked very much like her daughter, but about twenty years older. They both greeted me with a pleasant "Good morning." Fortunately they were dressed properly for the cold. I got it into my head that the mother was visiting the daughter over Christmas break; perhaps the young woman had just graduated from NMSU, since graduation ceremonies took place this past Saturday.
|Trail along the western flank|
|A favorite spot|
|Looks like the Sahara Desert with flora|
|Small stand of Ocotillos|
|Sun through a partially eaten Prickly Pear pad|
|This and the next: Tortugas (left) and the Organ Mountains|
|In the distance, just above the Torrey Yucca, is the trail around the mountain|
|Multiple crowns on an old Torrey Yucca|
|In the high foothills|
I like the bright green from the sun shining through the partially eaten prickly pear cactus pad. I assume that javelina might have been taking some bites out of it.
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