A friend recently made the observation that Albuquerque only has two seasons–summer and winter. In my experience, that often seems to be the case. Last week we were hiking in shorts in the Pecos Wilderness on a trail that took us to 9200 feet elevation and had us hot and sweaty by the time we got back to the car.
Cooler weather had moved in this weekend and with partly cloudy skies and 70 degree temperatures it looked like a perfect day for a fall hike.
,By the time we were halfway to our destination today, however, it felt more like winter. The temperature was in the 40’s and the dark clouds overhead were beginning to drop down pellets of ice/snow. It looked like it could turn to rain at any moment and neither one of us had brought rain gear. We came close to turning around, but, fortunately the clouds seemed to move around to the other side of the mountain. Before too long we saw the welcome sight of the Mt. Taylor summit sign and we were glad we had kept going.
The Gooseberry Springs Trailhead on the west side of Mt. Taylor starts at 9200 foot elevation, taking a little over 3 miles to reach the 11,300 summit. It’s understandable that the weather can be so different at such a higher elevation. But it still amazes me that with a two-hour drive we are back in Albuquerque again with the temperature at 80 degrees, looking at Mt. Taylor on the western skyline, knowing that it’s 40 degrees cooler up there.