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Monday, March 23, 2020

Far Side Redux

Some type of crystal somebody stuck on the end of a branch
Dr. K, the Heelers and I did a long hike departing from the Monte Vista area this morning; we followed the lower loop trail to a single-track at the far southern side of Tortugas Mountain.  We took the single-track up onto the east/west ridgeline and headed toward the Organ Mountains.

We fully intended to turn around and retrace our steps, but there were people hiking this side of the mountain that represented encounters we did not want so we kept going east.

My intent was to find an easy way to bushwhack back to the lower loop road, but I led us instead through a treacherous patch of catclaw that slowed our progress significantly and scratched us as catclaw always does.  With patience we found our way through without real damage to humans or Heelers.

By the time we got back to Whitey the CR-V we were all pretty hot; we're headed for a high of 78F today.  There were only a few vehicles parked in the Monte Vista lot when we left, but the Sunset Area on the west side of Tortugas was absolutely jam-packed.
Steep northern face of Tortugas Mountain

Around the east side of the mountain

This and the next:  west of the Organ Mountains

Dealing with Heelers

Many flowers of the mustard variety blooming in the desert

Bicolor Fanmustard

The trail we took

Social distancing on the trail behind the mountain

Trail of flowers

This and the next:  headed east toward the Organs

10 Commandments of hiking

Last 2:  Tortugas Mountain from the east

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I like the photo of the Bicolor Farmuster. So nice that this plant is in bloom in this part of the desert.

A Rainout

Female Rufous Hummingbird? Our morning hike was rained out today so I'm posting photos of hummingbirds I took yesterday. The rest:  Humm...