Hmmm... I seem to have forgotten how to code. Nonetheless, we'll see if I can come up with something.
Fall has been warm, and we could use some precipitation, although it's been mountain bike heaven.
A change is in order; I wonder if these bighorn ewes could sense it?
Several days later, a handful of little Fahrenheits, sporting their finest smirks, set a new record low temperature of 8 degrees, beating the old record of 22 by 14 notches. Then, most leaves lost color and dropped.
Hi folks! Recently, Snowcatcher and I visited one of our favorite haunts. Crested Butte sits at the base of the West Elk Mountains on the west, the Elk Mountains to the north, and the Sawatch Mountains to the east.
We arrived midday and had a beautiful afternoon ride. It was crystal clear all afternoon — no wind, no thunderstorms, dry trails, and lots of wildflowers. The following pics were shot from the Upper Lower Loop trail.
Crested Butte is considered by many to be the wildflower capitol of Colorado. Perhaps. Several hours to the southwest, in the San Juan Mountains, are some pretty awesome wildflower beds as well. Nonetheless, Crested Butte’s flowers are spectacular.
Below is Mount Crested Butte from the Slate River. We were riding the Lower Lower Loop trail, which begins in town and heads toward the snow. We didn’t have the time to ride to the snow, but it was close. Mount Crested Butte touches the sky at 12,162 feet.
In the background and several ridges over is Gothic Mountain, rising to 12,625 feet. It towers over the Rocky Mountain Biological Research station and the East River.
Hang-on, I think there may be a song in the above.
Currently, I'm very spotty on my posting. I blame it all on being tied at the hip to Parkinson's. In short, I can't sit still long enough to write. I'm like a snake trying to shed its skin, but can't escape. So, I get frustrated and go harass Snowcatcher or take the bicycle out or something. But, rest assured, I'm working on my body's attention span. The following pics are of a small lemon-squeezer that provides a more sporting line-up through a favorite cliff band.
Today's post takes place at Colorado National Monument, just southwest of Grand Junction, Colorado, my home town. Numerous other sandstone cliffs and towers call out to the avid scrambler and climber. The red hatched line approximates the lemon squeezer. The hatched line also represents the route being behind stone.
Not shown is another "cave" located after scrambling out of the terminus of the lemon-squeezer. The "cave" deposits you on top of a higher cliff band.
That's it for now. I think I'm going to take a brief hiatus from blogging until we can buy a new computer. This one is very overheated, tired and unpredictable. I hope to be back in about a month or so... Thanks for reading.
I have always wanted to visit the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in central New Mexico. Yes, New Mexico is a US state. I finally got my chance during my recent road trip through New Mexico with Snowcatcher. A fun tidbit is that the Jodie Foster/Matthew McConaughey movie "Contact" was filmed here.
From the Land of Enchantment to the high tech VLA (Very Large Array), this part of New Mexico has a lot of scientific research going on. New Mexico Tech is just down the road in Socorro.
According to the VLA, scientists there have made more space findings than any other telescope on earth. All of the immense dishes are used to collect radio waves (non-visible light) emitted in space. They are used to research star birth, galaxies and black holes.
The gigantic dishes are moved around on a rail system and can be spread out over 100 square miles of desert terrain. The dishes are re-positioned every four months.
I apologize for the graffiti and defacing of the kiosk. Vandalism seems to exist everywhere these days, even in the middle of "nowhere" and surrounded by all types of workers and scientists.
This was the end of our last day in New Mexico, and we captured a colorful Albuquerque sunset.
Southern New Mexico's Dripping Springs Natural Area
Along the northern fringes of Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the base of the Organ Mountains, lies Dripping Springs Natural Area. Dripping Springs is a great place to hike easy trail into history or anything else the Chihuahuan Desert has to offer.
In the 1870s, Dripping Springs Resort was built by Colonel Eugene Van Patten at the foot of the Organ Mountains. The resort was originally called Van Patten's Mountain Camp. Nearby Dripping Springs was the camp's water supply and was carried to the resort in ollas (non-glazed ceramic jars). The resort boasted 16 rooms, a dining room, and a music hall.
Dr. Nathan Boyd bought the resort from a bankrupt Van Patten in 1917. Boyd's wife contracted tuberculosis, and the resort was developed into a sanitarium. Additional housing was built as well.
A Las Cruces physician, Dr. Sexton, bought the property from the Boyd family and continued to operate it as a sanatorium. The dwellings lasted until about 1946, at which time scavengers raided the area for building materials. All that exist today are ruins.
Thanks for visiting this hidden jewel with me. See ya next time!
A fun thing to do while visiting the Alamogordo area is to visit White Sands National Monument. The following pics are from White Sands. The dunes are wind-blown deposits of gypsum originating from an ancient Permian Period Sea that occurred sometime during the late Paleozoic era 225 to 280 million years ago. Over time, mountains rose carrying the gypsum with them. Rain and glacier melt dissolved the gypsum and transported it back down to the Tularosa Basin.
As for sand, wind and sun de-water and break down the gypsum into selenite crystals. Wind and water continue to break down the crystals into sand. Finally, southwest winds keep the dunes moving.
A rarity in this region is snow, which we actually had the night prior. Regretfully, it melted before we got to the dunes. According to locals, the dunes are actually a light brown color when compared to fresh snow. Nonetheless, it was nice and bright out.
Snowcatcher and I recently spent a week in southern New Mexico. We attended the Quinceañera of her great niece. We enjoyed the festivities in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Alamogordo is a handful of miles northeast of Lac Cruces, New Mexico.
Southern New Mexico also is home to pecan and pistachio farms, White Sands National Monument, International Space Hall of Fame, Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range and Trinity Nuclear Test Site (first nuclear bomb test). The city of Alamogordo (which means fat tree) lies between the Organ Mountains to the west and the Sacramento mountains to the east.
Our first stop was the Valley of Fires lava flow.
In Alamogordo, I like to spend time at the International Space Hall of Fame. I could spend an entire day here. Years ago, many people journeyed to "Alamo" to witness a space shuttle landing at Holloman — how's that for cool?
The first trained test animal (chimpanzee) to go into space was Ham. Ham's name was an acronym for Holloman Aero Med (Holloman Aerospace Medical Center). Ham was selected from 40 candidates and made his journey toward the heavens on January 31, 1961. Ham was able to push certain levers while in flight, demonstrating it was possible to work in space.
Ham was perched atop an 83-foot Redstone rocket launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. His top speed was 5,800 miles per hour at an elevation of 155 miles. Ham's flight lasted 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Later in the day, Ham was fetched out of the ocean 420 miles down range from the launch site.
Ham died in North Carolina in 1983. His body was sent back to Holloman and buried at the foot of the International Space Hall of Fame.
Lots of rocket/space-type static displays are scattered on the Hall's grounds.