Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 2, 2015

Heading to the Mountains
and Doing Some Hiking
October 2, 2015

Balloonist taking riders for a trip on his balloon.
On Friday morning we were up about 7:00 to prepare for a day of driving and hiking.  Before breakfast I took a walk through the neighborhood and enjoyed the beautiful morning and more balloons practicing for the next day or giving rides to customers.  I again took time to look at the desert plants growing in the yards.
Some of the amazing scenery as we spent the day driving and hiking.

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, packed a picnic lunch and headed north.  It was a beautiful day.  We drove through the Jemez Mountains to the north of Albuquerque, stopping several places to take photos and hikes.
Beautiful red rock formations
We stopped at a Visitor Center and did a little shopping to start the day.  We could also get maps and guides, but this is one of Bob and Vickey's favorite drives, so we didn't really need  any more information.  There is still a large tribe of these Indians living in the area.
Vickey in the ruins of an old church - a very large church.
One of the first stops was an area with the ruins of a previous village.  Some of the area is being restored and we walked along a path that took us around the area.  Signs talked about a village of over 3,000 rooms.  The villages were large with not only the buildings, but the farm land to feed so many.
Watching the bugs leaving trails in the fine dirt.
From there we drove on along the Jemez Mountain Trail, passing beautiful red rock formations.  We stopped several times and although the rock formations were beautiful and fascinating, we were fascinated by the soil that is a very fine powder.  We followed animal and insect trails in this very fine red powder and enjoyed seeing which insects left which trails.
Boys will be boys!  Ron in the middle of a stream.
We stopped at Jemez Springs and Vickey had decided to wait in the car while the rest of us took the trail.  I looked down at the start of the trail to see steep steps leading down, down, down and returned to the car to keep Vickey company.  We were still adjusting to the altitude and the hiking.  Ron and Bob took the trail and had a good time.  Vickey and I watched some birds and "people watched" as we waited.  The day was comfortably cool, so waiting in the car and visiting was no problem.
At Jemez Springs
The next stop was Battleship Rock and there we took a very short walk, just getting a better view of the formation.  We took several pull-outs to take photos and eventually arrived at Jemez Falls.
Battleship Rock
We all took the trail to the falls.  The sign says, "1/4 mile to the falls."  WRONG!  No way!  Maybe 1/4 mile as the crow flies.  The trail was not too hard and it was wide and well trodden.  The falls were worth the walk.
Jemez Falls
Shortly after we got to the falls, Ron and Bob took off on a hike to get them closer to the brink of the falls.  It turned out there was another smaller falls they could see from that spot.  An older couple and their adult daughter arrived just after we did.  They were taking photos of themselves with the falls in the background.  Vickey offered to help and chatted with them for a while as I continued taking photos.
Ron and Bob returning from their hike to the brink of the falls
The couple and their daughter started back just before our guys can into view and as we turned toward the trail we saw that the man had fallen and could not get up without help.  We called to our guys to come help.  With help the man got up and was not hurt except for his pride.
Jemez Falls
Bob and Vickey showed me again as they have in the past, how compassionate and comforting both of them are.  As Vickey sat beside the man on a stump, he was trying to tell her something and she had difficulty hearing him.  It turned out he was telling her he had seen her at the Visitor Center at the start of our trip through the Jemez Mountains.  They were able to calm those involved while Ron and I returned to get water for everyone.  The guys then walked back with the man as we walked with the women.  What a blessing to see my kids (Bob and his wife) as they quickly see a need and meet it.  Another couple on the trail stopped but once the man was up, left to enjoy their hike.
Vickey while the guys were hiking at the falls
After we got them to their car, we got out our picnic and had our lunch.  Why do sandwiches taste so good on picnics and not as good at home?  We enjoyed the time under the swaying pine trees as we had lunch together, before heading to the next hiking spot.
Our picnic lunch
The next hike was through a field with cattle grazing.  Bob and Ron took the trail while Vickey and I waited.  It was an easy trail if you like the farm smells.  They had a good time and we were content to relax and continue our chats.
 Hike Ron and Bob took through an area with grazing cattle.

From there we drove through the Valles Caldera seeing the inside of an ancient volcano.  From rim to rim, it was huge and most of the inside was flat grassy land.
Inside the caldera - ancient volcano

Our next destination was Los Alamos where we had a little time at the museum.  It was very interesting and I would have liked a little more time there.  Their displays were well done.
 The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos
The return trip home was a route around Santa Fe and then back to Albuquerque through scattered showers.  Vickey rewarmed the chicken pot pie we had not even touched the previous evening (she had made 2).  While she did that, Bob and I went to the grocery store for some items.
Nice drive home
The scattered showers brought a rainbow
Vickey also made some homemade rolls for us that evening and had to let them rise a while so even though we knew we needed to be up at 3:30 the next morning, we stayed up and talked until 1:30.
Another waterfall along our way
It had been another very good day with lots to see and enjoy

 If I was not taking photos, Bob was.

The sunset before we got home. 

There are lots of these rabbits in Bob and Vickey's neighborhood this year.

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