First Day of Autumn

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the first day of autumn than to hike up one of the many trails in the Sandia Mountains. It will be a couple of weeks before we see the golden colors of the aspen and cottonwood trees. But the timing today was perfect for enjoying the beautiful displays of the feathery pink seed heads on the Apache plume shrubs along the trail.

Goal of this hike was a trail intersection in the saddle up ahead.
View south to village of Tijeras.
Turnaround point. Several more miles of climbing to reach the Crest. Another day.

Rockin’ It

I think I have a love-hate relationship with rocks. I was hating every single one of the rocks that littered the countless ruts in the maze of dirt roads we were navigating in our attempt to find a trail that started at an abandoned campground in the Manzano Mountains. I winced at every thud and jolt under the body of our car as we inched forward at a snail’s pace. No one in their right mind would take a Toyota Corolla on these roads. Lee could tell I was greatly annoyed at having been persuaded yet again to do one of these “exploratory” hikes.

But after two hours, when we finally got to the base of the mountains and started up the trail, all was forgiven. I was no longer upset with Lee and I was absolutely loving the rocks I was seeing in this part of the mountains. I was pretty sure they were metamorphic rocks, which we don’t see as often as igneous and sedimentary rocks. The intense heat and pressure that’s required to form metamorphic rocks gives many of them fascinating wavy layers in patterns referred to as foliation or schistosity. I could have hauled home pounds of beautiful specimens but limited myself to a few photos. Rocks are meant to stay where God put them for us to enjoy and cars are meant to stay on the paved roads. Me and rocks will get along just fine if we both stay where we belong.

On the Trail

Enjoying Schistocity