52-Week Photo Challenge -Week 1 New Beginnings

I have often thought about joining a WordPress photo challenge, but most I’ve seen seemed to take more time than I was willing to give or covered categories that didn’t interest me.  But recently I became aware of one that was a 52-week challenge.  That seems more doable!

So I’ve decided to participate.  This challenge is hosted by From Moments to Memories.

The first week’s challenge is entitled “New Beginnings”.  Of course the first thing that comes to mind is a sunrise or a flower bud.  But for me it means a new beginning for myself.  I’ve made a new year’s resolution to exercise more this year.  While I have always enjoyed getting out and doing short hikes for birding and exploring, I know I could do better by exercising more often during the week.

So my photo for this week represents my new beginning of getting out hiking more often every week.

dsc_1843

My view of the White Mesa Trail in the Ojito Wilderness near Albuquerque, New Mexico

Revision:  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before I posted.  But Scarlett does everything with me.  So why not have her included in this challenge.  So here’s Scarlett’s photo for Week 1.  🙂

dsc_1838

Miss Scarlett enjoying the Ojito Wilderness

 

Hoodoo Pines Trail – Ojito Wilderness

I took advantage of a beautiful winter day last Friday and hiked one of my favorite trails about an hour outside of Albuquerque, NM. It’s called Hoodoo Pines because its one of the lowest elevations in New Mexico where natural growing Ponderosa Pines are located. Hoodoo is the name of a type of rock formation. The trail is located in the Ojito (pronounced OH-HEE-TOW) Wilderness, which means “little spring” in Spanish.

Not many people know about the Ojito Wilderness. It’s a very unique and beautiful place. The best time to hike it is in the winter. The summer temperatures there can get over 100 degree F.

Scarlett had been needing a good long hike to let out some of that built up puppy energy. We hiked for 4 hours that day.

The trail isn’t easy to find I think because it’s not hiked often. About a half-mile into the hike you start seeing some of the formations and Ponderosa Pines.

image

image

image

One of my favorite locations on this hike is an area that has sandstone pillars that look painted. They used to be bigger and more pointy but all the rain over the last year has eroded these fragile formations.

image

Me and Scarlett

image

image

A very determined Ponderosa Pine

About 3/4 of a mile into the hike you come to an area that looks like a moonscape.

image

I got a great photo of Scarlett in this area.

image

Then around the corner from here you get to see the main attraction of the hike. Beautiful Ponderosa Pines among the unique hoodoos (rock formations that are a pillar with a capstone).

image

image

image

image

image

The trail goes much further but I decided to turn around and visit some of the other areas of the Ojito Wilderness. My next stop was White Mesa. It’s a huge bowl formation that I swear is several stories deep. The colors of the soil make for a stunning view.

image

image

The day was still young so I decided to go to one more location. It has white formations that are made of gypsum.

On the way there I took a few photos of the other areas along the road.

image

image

I only more recently discovered the white formations. They are very pretty in certain lighting.

image

image

image

I found one hole I made Scarlett crawl into and look out at me 🙂

image

image

She’s getting better at cooperating with my odd requests. Lol! She’s a good girl!

We had a great time hiking together!