On Friday morning, Michael and I donned our hiking boots, drove 2 miles and headed up Atalaya Mountain.
The trails were well marked as we left from the parking lot at St. John’s College.
We first hiked thru a small Arroyo (a steep-sided gully cut by running water in an arid or semiarid region). As we hiked, we talked about how we would NOT want to be in the area when it was raining. There were many dry stream beds that I am sure would quickly fill with water and make it uncomfortable, if not dangerous, to hike.
As usual, I was drawn to the colors of the flowers in the area, but there were not too many specimens to choose from. I loved these small red flowers….
Michael, on the other hand, was drawn to various types of cacti and succulents….
This little guy was trying really hard to blend into the background……
There was evidence that a fire had been thru the area at some time as many of the trees were in the process of re-budding, however, this tree was obviously burned too far to regenerate…..
We kept stopping to take photos, enjoying the every widening view….
As we moved higher up the mountain, the trees turned from Junipers to Pines, making the scenery change.
At one point on the hike, we had to make a decision about whether to take the harder “steeper” route or to take the “easier” route.
We met a man coming down from the steeper way and he assured us that it was doable, so we decided to take steeper up and easier down. The trail was not that bad, but we did stop often for breath and water breaks!!
When we reached the top of the mountain, we enjoyed the views and took a few photos……
…….including one of me to send to my Physical Therapist to say “my knees are doing GREAT!!!!!”……
On the way back down, I stopped to photograph this cactus. Would love to see it when the blossom has opened…..
Some of the areas were extremely rocky…..
….but there would be veins of pink rocks and even a few really big ones…..
Michael had been having cell phone coverage issues in Santa Fe but found that he had a great signal at the top of the mountain, so we stopped so that he could return a few calls…..
While I was standing there waiting for him, I started to notice the VERY dead tree that we were standing under…..
The silhouette was interesting, but the really cool part was the bark…..
I loved the shapes in the bark and also all of the woodpecker holes!!! Michael commented that it would make a cool quilt…..interesting!!
Some of the views were different on the way back down. We loved this one with the smaller mesas in front of the other mountains…..
The hike down was great and we arrived back at the B&B tired and dirty, but with lots of fun memories. In total we had hike 7.5 miles and had climbed about 2,200 feet in elevation, starting at 7,000 and topping out at 9,200!!
After we had rested for a while, we went out to dinner at the Coyote Café, another restaurant recommended by Gayle.
We loved the décor of the building, especially the light fixtures…
Actually, they were not light FIXTURES as the light came down from the spots in the ceiling, but the lights accentuated the sculptures, making it look like birds flying thru the restaurant.
Our meal was excellent, including Stuffed Zucchini blossoms…..
Michael and I split the Filet Mignon main course…..
….and a very tasty side order of onion rings…..
While Michael enjoyed a post-prandial Port, I (at the waiter’s suggestion) had the chocolate mousse. It was wonderful!!!
We returned to the B&B and fell happily into bed!!!
One thought on “Atalaya Mountain….”
What a walk. The way the vistas just emerge is wonderful and the tree bark is so beautiful. Your Physical Therapist will be proud of you.