Last Thursday my friend Dia and I went on a hike I’ve been wanting to do for some time. I didn’t want to go alone, because the location was about 1.5 hours away from home and in a “no cell” area.
The drive to the trail was very pretty. We stopped along the way to admire the beautiful countryside.
There were lots of thistle and shooting star blooming alongside the road. Bees and butterflies were enjoying the blooms.
This trail is located at over 9,000 feet in elevation. It consists of a lake and several streams cutting through high meadows. Unfortunately, this summer has been very dry so the water level in the lake was very low and the streams were dry.
It’s been very hot this July. Even at over 9,000 feet in elevation, it was in the mid 80s. Scarlett was happy to see water to cool off.
When Scarlett ran out of the water, she went right by Dia and covered her in mud splatters. Bad Scarlett!! 🙂
The were some neat rock formations near the lake. So of course, we had to do some photo ops!
There weren’t very many birds out at this time. But Dia spotted a Hairy Woodpecker by the lake.
When we entered the forest on the far side of the lake, the temperature dropped in the shade. It was very pleasant to walk then.
Soon we came across some trees that had fallen over and their root balls exposed. The size of these root balls was astounding!
At some points in the trail, we had to walk around the downed trees. Of course, Dia is so small, she just went under. LOL!
After hiking awhile, we came to an area full of flowers. There were lots of butterflies enjoying the flowers. I couldn’t resist taking a ton of photos of them. I had a hard time identifying them. So if anyone see’s an incorrect name, I’d love to know.
Out of all the orange flowers, I spotted one flower that stood out. I loved the colors of this bloom.
We eventually came to a signpost at a large meadow. We explored a ways along the Rio de Las Vacas trail. We tried to stop and have a snack in the deep shade, but the flies decided we were lunch!
We headed back to the meadow and decided to see where the Damian trail led. It didn’t go far at all or we lost track of the trail. I clicked a couple of photos on this trail. Now I always think of the Damian Omen movies when I see the name Damian. When I was going back through my photos, I realized the cloud formation looked like a devil face….creepy!
The day was growing late, so we decided to head back to the car. By now we’ve hiked over 3 miles.
I saw several house wrens, but they just wouldn’t cooperate for a photo. But I did see this young Lincoln’s Sparrow. He was very curious of us, but wouldn’t come too far out into the open.
On the way back, I saw this beautiful moth on a flower. When I looked up the name of the moth, I just had to laugh. Who comes up with this stuff?!? The black and white really stood out. There were also a few more butterfly species about.
About a mile from the car, Dia spotted a rock that she swore was petrified wood. I have my doubts but she was convinced. She carried that rock the whole mile back to the car.
We finally made it back to the car. Since there was no cell service, I couldn’t use the Map my Hike app. But my polar fitness band let me know how far I’d gone. 🙂
Driving back down Hwy 126, we noticed a lot of birds hanging out on the barbed wire. Of course, I just had to stop to take some pictures. We saw lots of Western Tanagers, Black-Headed Grosbeaks and Bluebirds. But all of them were camera shy. Here’s the pictures we were able to get.
We decided to take the road north through Los Alamos to head back home. The biggest reason for this was to visit a Starbucks. Dia was pining for a Starbucks drink.
We drove by the Valle Caldera preserve. The caldera basin was just beautiful.
We had a fun but very long day. We can’t wait for the next adventure!