I guess it would be good to introduce you to various people who I care about. As per usual, no particular order. So, here is a picture of Cat (my little bro) and I. Then there is this guy Chris who is at Madison studing how the universe formed, he is holding the only thing who could stand to live with me over the past seven years, my iguana Indiana.
I guess what follows will kind of end up being kind of a travel log of various excursions while I'm out here in Santa Fe.
So, upon getting into Santa Fe, after the initial hysteria wore off, Chris and I headed out for Bandlier National Monument. The first night, we actually slept outside the park, near a fence marking a boundry for some kind of explosives activities. (We just slept out of the back of my truck.) We got up, got backcountry permits, and on the way to the trailhead saw this crazy squirrel. On the way up one side of the Frijoles canyon, we had a great view of the Anastazi ruins. After hiking for a while (up and down a couple shallow canyons) we came upon Alamo canyon, when we approached it, it kept getting deeper and deeper... Chris was like, "we have to go down into that?" Just for your info, it is 725 ft deep; both the decent and the accent take place over a quarter of a mile. Good luck finding the trail here... Oh, here is a shot about half way (5 mile point) into the trip near some Pueblo ruins of the valley to the south. Finally, Chris at our destination, painted cave. We were under the impression that the cave was not 50 ft off the ground... Seems more like painted half dome or something. This is Chris at our camp site... on this site, at 2 in the morning, there was a skunk five feet of the end of our sleeping bags, t'was quite un-nerving. Upon telling the ranger this later, apparently there is a lot of skunk folklore at Bandlier. Anyway... On the way back, Chris decided he needed a belt, but finding no conviential belt material around, he decided to use a stick... It actually worked. Here is Chris pointing out where we camped... Here is a shot of one of the canyons we crossed, notice the sunshine. Ten minutes later, we are on the top of the mesa in between canyons, notice the snow... On our hike back, every ten minutes the weather changed... from hail, to snow, to sun, but never rain, how do you like that? The hike ended uneventfully (relatively speaking). We finished the day walking along the ruins (different picture) that were pictured earlier. To top off the weekend, when Chris and I were driving back from Bandlier National Monument, we stumbled across this amazing sunset.
So the next weekend I went up to (ro tried to) the San Pedro Parks wilderness. After a very beautiful drive, a few wrong turns (after looking at the forest service map, I'm surprized it was only a couple wrong turns), I got to the entrance road to the wilderness. First I would like to note that this road is on "highway" 126, a dirt road (not gravel) that is never guarenteed to be passable. At one point, after coming back from one of my wrong turns, an old Toyota land cruiser, with wheels up that came up to the bottom of the window on my truck, asked me if I had seen a white Blazer... he told me where to go. Anyway, back to this entrance road (which is located at about 9500 ft). So, someone had been on it... there were track, but the snow came up to the bottom of my doors... well... what the heck, huh? I drove on that sucker until I got to the point where the person in front of me got stuck. I got out, hiked (through numerous five foot deep snow drifts) up the road for an hour and a half, saw some elk, but no parking lot... When I got back to my truck there was a red jeep behind it. I spoke to the guy, can't remember his name, and he wanted to try to keep going. So... I backed out of the way, he gave it a shot, made it about ten feet past the last guy, and got stuck. Luckily it didn't take long for him to get un-stuck. Now to get out... The only way, back out. After while of backing out, I noticed a widening of the road, so I tried to turn around, and in the process, got stuck (my right front tire dropped all the way into a snow covered ditch next to a 25 ft rock wall). After two hours of attempts, me and the other guy (I can't remember his name, remember) managed to get the truck out. Just to not some stupidity, I had removed my tow rope earlier that day, and fogotten to replace it... To get the truck out, we had to deflate my tires to under 20 psi... so upon getting it unstuck, I headed for a gas station that was a little further on "highway" 126. Please note that all this took place after the sun had left our sights... At any rate, after refueling, and filling my tires back up, I went back up onto the platau where the entrance road was, and camped in a near by National Forest site. It was cold as hell; every bit of water I had, including a 3 gallon jug was frozen solid. Do you notice the frost on my pillow? The following day, after my morning espresso and a little Wisconsin sausage, cheese, and a couple pieces of frozen fruit (an orange and a banana), I went for a ~7 mile hike up along the Jemez river, (which is much lower), scouting for fishing spots for when Cat arrived. All in all it was an interesting weekend. <\a>