Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mount Cabezon

A few weeks ago we decided to head out to Mount Cabezon...we look at this peak every day and wanted an up close view of it. We delayed going there for a while because it was "monsoon" season and every hike we did ended up with hail and lightening...not good if you are on top of a peak that shoots 1000 feet up from the valley floor. As the crow flies this peak is only 30 miles away but driving took about 45 minutes and a lot of it was on what they call a "two track" dirt road, meaning a dirt road through BLM land. As we drove we caught a glimpse of something chasing us. I had Jeff stop the car and as I popped out to take a look a really big donkey/burro (is there s difference?) came barreling up. Jeff told me to get in the car since it looked like it was on a mission and after I got in it went to the driver's side and stuck its head in the window - nothing menacing about that! Turned out to be the highlight of the day!

After a long time on the two track, and seemingly driving into nothing-land, we did arrive on the back side of Cabezon. There was a place to park and a small placard/trail map. We headed up the very steep trail around the "head." We must have missed the not-very-obvious route up to the top. The book said it was not a clear route but we honestly could not find any thing that looked even possible. Everything was crumbly and steep steep steep. So we continued around looking at very healthy cholla (cactus) and some neat lichen. The lichen was almost fluorescent and formed neat patterns on the rocks. We followed directions in our hiking book in order to make our way on what appeared to be cattle paths to circumvent the peak. There were large boulder patches that made this interesting and no real trails.

We got through all the boulders and kept following things around making it up as we went. We could see for miles. There were very healthy cacti and still fruit on most of it. Very healthy cactus plants and still a lot of wildflowers blooming. We came to a spot where we could over look the parking area we parked in which now had a couple cars in it.

We picked our way down and then continued on the two track toward another peak. The road kind of got worse and the arroyos deeper. The fields did quiver in a nice breeze with seed heads and blossoms swaying in the wind. We looked at some more neat rock formations before heading home. New Mexico is definitely the place to have a camper. With all the BLM two track land it is a cool place to be if you really want to be away from it all. The landscape is terrific and camping is allowed for up to seven days. Everything here is free or if you go to a developed park or camp area usually $3 or something. Many nice destinations are a few hours away so it is nice to be able to camp and wake up somewhere to photograph at sunrise or be there at sunset. So far we just do day trips but a pop up camper or something may be in our future.

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