San Pedro Parks Hike

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.

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Interesting rock formations along the road.

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These horses have a great pasture!

There were lots of thistle and shooting star blooming alongside the road.  Bees and butterflies were enjoying the blooms.

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Honey bees

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Great Spangled Fritillary

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Black Swallowtail

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.

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San Gregorio Lake

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.

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When Scarlett ran out of the water, she went right by Dia and covered her in mud splatters.  Bad Scarlett!! 🙂

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Dia covered in mud splatter – bad Scarlett

The were some neat rock formations near the lake.  So of course, we had to do some photo ops!

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Miss Scarlett loves climbing rocks now.

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Me and Scarlett

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Dia found her throne.

There weren’t very many birds out at this time.  But Dia spotted a Hairy Woodpecker by the lake.

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Hairy Woodpecker

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!

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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!

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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.

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Blue Copper

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Dainty Sulpher

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Margined Mustard White

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Purplish Copper

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Purplish Copper

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Small Wood Nymph

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Southwestern Atlantis Fritillary

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Southwestern Atlantis Fritillary

Out of all the orange flowers, I spotted one flower that stood out.  I loved the colors of this bloom.

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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!

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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!

 

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Damian Trail…with creepy cloud looking down on us

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Can you see the creepy face?

The day was growing late, so we decided to head back to the car.  By now we’ve hiked over 3 miles.

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The large meadows were very pretty.

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We turned around at this meadow.

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.

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Juvenile Lincoln’s Sparrow

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.

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Police Car Moth

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Police Car Moth

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Freija Fritillary

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Weidemeyer’s Admiral

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.

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Dia with her “petrified wood” rock

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.  🙂

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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.

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Western Tanager Male

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Juvenile Western Tanager

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I believe this is a Vesper Sparrow Juvenile

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Juvenile Western Tanager

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.

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Valle Caldera

We had a fun but very long day.  We can’t wait for the next adventure!

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5 thoughts on “San Pedro Parks Hike

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