Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guadalupe Mountains (Day 24, Part II)


12 September (Con't)

After Carlsbad, we got back to Guadalupe in time for a 5 mile hike. We got a permit for backpacking the next night. Chatted with crazy Hal in the visitor center, who enlightened us with stories about attack skunks and people getting hit by lightening. Hal didn't have a whole lot of teeth, but he was awfully nice.
The hike we did was really pretty spectacular (duh). No one else was on the trail, saw a tarantula, skink, lots of cool cacti, some mule deer, giant grasshoppers. Lots of gorgeous Madrones and Alligator Junipers (they always take me back to my days in Flagstaff, love 'em). (below: a Prickly Pear fruit that was chowed on by some critter)
(the ever cool Alligator Juniper above and below)
After the hike, we packed up for backpacking the next day. 7 liters of water is heavy, and this is why we only were going to go for one night. No place to refill water for night 2/day 3, and I think we were a little wary because of the incident in Canyonlands a week or so earlier. I saved a moth from some bully ants while I was eating dinner. The night sky was freaking excellent (the next night...the sky was just plain mean...stay tuned!)...(Cholla below) Nature Notes
(View from the tent above; Madrone bark below)

22 comments:

NatureFootstep said...

that´s wilderness. Beautiful and wild nature. Glad it is still there.

Woody said...

Where to start??!! Those cacti are incredible, I've never see such vibrant colors! And that Madrone bark has such great texture.

Inger-M said...

You're hiking in some really amazing terrain! I love all your pictures, but especially the cacti flowers, such beautiful colors! It must be great to get to see so much wild life, big and small :-)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Wonderful. All of it simply wonderful.

Bryan Hughes said...

I love that area. I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks exploring the Northern end of the Guads in May, looking for blacktailed rattlesnakes. What a great range!

Arija said...

The cacti look pretty mean too. Glorious dryland landscapes though, the sparse vegetation reminds me of our flinders Ranges except for the cacti and tarantulas. We too have prickly pear but here we try to eradicate it since it is an imported noxious weed.

Water in places like that is of the essence. We can always go without food for a while, but not without water.

Gaelyn said...

Once again, simply gorgeous landscape. Never seen an alligator juniper. Do miss the PNW madrone.

Kala said...

Gorgeous cactus blossoms. The desert offers such tremendous beauty!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's almost unfair to leave us hanging about the mean sky the next night Jill! Still I guess you made it out alive and in one piece since it did happen a few months ago ;>)... pictures are beautiful as always. I love the cacti -- and the Mountains (we have a distinct dearth of them here where we are now, I guess that's why they call it the low country maybe lol)

Denise said...

Brilliant photos and a great hike you took us on. I think I would have enjoyed talking to crazy Hal, he sounded like quite a character and I bet he had a lot of stories to tell.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All great stuff Jill and I adore your new banner, just way too cute. Might I ask, what is your area of work that allows you so much wonderful times in the field,so to speak. I just feel so thrilled that you are able to venture so much and share your happy trails;)

Mama Zen said...

Beautiful set of photos!

casseydab said...

SOO fantastic views. when can i take photos fantastic as your? wish i have time to take camera and practice with it...soo love it...

ChrisJ said...

Because of all the rain we've had this winter, the desert flowers should be blooming well. Maybe this year we will get out to see them.

Marites said...

really beautiful landscape and the cactus! amazing!

Vernz said...

beautiful landscape indeed.

Randi said...

Breathtaking captures of the wild and beautiful nature. Love the cacti flower!

cat said...

Your colorful photos make me long for spring even more:)

KT said...

We were at the Guadalupe Mountains last year; unfortunately they just had a lot of rain so we didn't get to do the hike we wanted, but we chose an alternate and it was just beautiful...we got to see many spring flowers.

We didn't like that there was a flight pattern way up above...hearing the planes on occasion was annoying...other than that, it was a thumbs up in my book!

Gary said...

Great hike and great photos. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River.

raya said...

i love those yellow cacti! and the pink ones too!! beautiful..

Marvin Beatty said...

"Alligator Juniper" - wow! Never seen a tree like that!