…well into the second 5 year mission!

Archive for December, 2015

Ice in the desert

For seven years, in the winter I have been hiking in the high desert near Elephant Butte and Caballo.  I knew, intellectually, that the Gila National Forest was to the west, but I knew little about it.  That changed when Jim and I went exploring for something new.

We found a wonderful area.  The streams cut passages through the rock walls.  With care, one can make their way along the stream bed.  Sometimes it is all but impassable.

01 Gila NF 2015-12-10_24

Sometimes, it is easy.

02 Gila NF 2015-12-17_18

03 Gila NF 2015-12-15_7

What we found there were treasures.  Some were tiny falls dropping into pools.

04 Gila NF 2015-12-18_19

Some were more substantial falls.

05 Gila NF 2015-12-17_6

06 Gila NF 2015-12-17_21

The REAL surprise, though were the ever-varying ice formations created along the stream.  The varicolored rocks in the stream bed are joined by reflections on the frozen crystal forms from the canyon walls.

07 Gila NF 2015-12-17_43

08 Gila NF 2015-12-17_39

It seemed like there were new attractions every few feet.

09 Gila NF 2015-12-19_9

10 Gila NF 2015-12-18_25

11 Gila NF 2015-12-19_14

The topper, for me, was this sculpture of a boot in ice.  It’s all there – the sole, heel, laces and pants leg.

12 Gila NF cold foot 2015-12-19

So, finishing out the year, here is one more unusual image for this area – snow in the mountains.

Organ Mtns snow 2015-12-27_7

Happy New Year to all.

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