There’s Something Fishy Here

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My feet are soaking in the refreshing waters of McCauley Warm Springs. There are some strange-looking black things over my toes and surrounding my feet in the water. Those are tiny little minnows that were swarming in the pools at the spring. Not only did the water sooth my tired hiking feet, but I also got tickling massages as the curious fish nibbled my toes!

There’s been nothing fishy about the spectacular weather that has accompanied us this week on our outings. Some might complain that the temperatures are too hot, but Monday and today our hikes were in the mountains, where it’s at least 10 degrees cooler than Albuquerque. And yesterday we rode the Rail Runner Express up to Santa Fe, which also is cooler than Albuquerque.

Monday we explored the crest of the Sandia Mountains, which are immediately to the east of Albuquerque. Today we drove into the western edge of the Jemez Mountains, which are north of Albuquerque, but not as close as the Sandias.

After driving as far as the boundary of the Valles Caldera, with a stop at Soda Dam, we backtracked to the Battleship Rock Picnic Area. Beneath this towering rock formation, the East Fork Jemez River and San Antonio Creek converge to form the Jemez River. A two-mile hike up the East Fork leads to McCauley Warm Springs, which was the destination for our hike today. We had never been on this trail before and didn’t realize that it was 2 miles of continuous uphill. But the girls trudged right along and didn’t complain at all. Our efforts were rewarded when we reached the refreshing spring. And we knew that it would then be all downhill to get back to the car.

Behind us is Soda Dam, a large deposit of calcium carbonate that has built up from a spring that bubbles to the surface.
Behind us is Soda Dam, a large deposit of calcium carbonate that has built up from a spring that bubbles to the surface. Jemez River to our right as it flows under the dome.
A stop along the way on our drive through the Jemez Mountains.
A stop along the way on our drive through the Jemez Mountains.
That's one heck of a big cottonwood tree!
That’s one heck of a big cottonwood tree!
Our destination on the East Fork Trail.
Our destination on the East Fork Trail.
View of Battleship Rock
View of Battleship Rock

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We continue to come across wildflowers that we can't identify.
We continue to come across wildflowers that we can’t identify.
Some tall trees.
Some tall trees.
One of the pools at McCauley Warm Springs.
One of the pools at McCauley Warm Springs.

Absolute-Lee Back in the Bike Business

Proud owner of Fuji Absolute 2.1
Proud owner of Fuji Absolute 2.1

After being without a set of wheels since the day several months ago when his bike was stolen, Lee finally found the bike that was right. He is now the proud owner of a Fuji Absolute 2.1.

Before the wind kicked up this morning we went out for a bike ride–the maiden voyage for Lee’s Fuji, with me following behind on my trusty Specialized. We headed for one of our favorite bike trails, the North Diversion Channel Trail. Our turnaround point was on Lomas Boulevard, where the trail ends at the edge of the University of New Mexico campus. Lee spotted a Donut Mart down the street and we headed that way. I thought the label on the bag that the clerk put our purchase in was appropriate: “You Deserve a Donut.”

If you look at the map of our ride you see that it was 10 miles to get to the campus, and since we made it a round trip, it was a 20 mile bike ride. Also, on the map you can see how the bike trail crosses and then parallels Interstate-40, near what’s known as the “Big-I” because it’s the intersection of Interstate-40 and Interstate-25. It’s one of the sections of the trail I especially like because it makes you feel like you’re flying right above one of the busiest parts of the city.  The “Big-I” is in the background of the picture above, although it’s hard with a phone camera to capture the panoramic view.

We got home before the wind got too strong and before it got too hot.  To get prepared for our planned bike ride in August, though, we are going to have to quit trying to avoid the heat!  Now that we both have bikes, let the training begin.