Our version of black Friday was to knock out a hike that’s been on our list for a long time, but hadn’t been completed until now. We started in our neighborhood, working our way to the mouth of Domingo Baca Canyon and from there, up, up, and up to the site of 1955 TWA plane crash. The hike starts in classic high desert terrain, quickly gaining elevation and running through pinon and juniper forest. Upward into Ponderosa, scrub oak, aspen and finally into big stands of Douglas fir. Much of the trail follows a perennial trickle of stream which in one spot has about a 30 foot high “waterfall”. Reaching the crash site is pretty somber, knowing 16 people lost their lives here, and there is a small memorial to that effect. The area is scattered with wreckage and people seem to have been respectful of the site over the years. Definitely recommend this hike if you have time.
One thing I really enjoy about a bit of nasty weather is that it keeps most people at home, leaving the trails free and clear to enjoy. The 45 mph wind, blowing snow, and cold have me nostalgic for the days of youth. I stayed out for a few hours, and managed 3 trips through the rock garden, taking different lines each time. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the day.
Put another season of trail work in the books Saturday. Repaired a lot of damage done from our historic September monsoon rains. Perfect weather too; jacket in the morning, t-shirt in the afternoon, jacket in the evening. The next day found Ann and I enjoying a nice Cedro loop. You have to take advantage of the mountain riding while you can……here’s to hoping for a good snow pack this year. With an early end to the daylight Sunday, I put some energy into a good meal. Fresh spinach pasta with a traditional marinara. The garden is still producing some excellent tomatoes, basil, and fresh greens. It will be ending soon, but we’ll enjoy while it lasts.
took an opportunity to hike into a remote stretch of river north of here on a bluebird fall day. I had been monitoring flows on this hidden gem all summer and had concerns of fish kill from low water and high temperatures before the monsoons hit. The flows are near perfect now and though there is some evidence of fish kill from the summer, there is still a good, healthy, population of brown trout that were only interested in dry flies that day. I covered maybe a mile of stream and would have needed climbing gear to go much further, but needed to save energy to climb back out of that canyon. It’s a magic place and I look forward to more exploration.
A few low res shots of the remodel project. The biggest aspects were removing soffits and re-routing/reconfiguring wiring and getting electrical up to code. used a good electrician to take care of that. Also, widening the entry to create a half island and bring more light into the dining area and to take advantage of our nice mountain views. Put a big, engineered header in the new opening which far exceeded code. Ceiling high maple cabinets, quartz counter tops, new saltillo tile, and only some minor plumbing, since sink and appliances did not change location. Subway tile backsplash with glass tile accents, and we’re really pleased with the way things turned out. Our large pantry remained unchanged but just got a facelift. So, that’s what we did this summer. How about you?
It was a good summer overall which included taking a sabbatical from the web. Despite the summer starting with the loss of one of our labs to a brain cancer, we got to spend some great time with him and were so fortunate that he graced our lives for exactly 7 years to the day.
We then threw ourselves into a kitchen remodel, completely gutting the old, and 8 weeks later, we have a modern, beautiful space to enjoy. A lot of sweat equity in this project and the memories of the inconveniences of that period have faded.
To help our other lab get over losing her best bud, we found her a new assignment. We discovered she was a perfect candidate for AAT (animal assisted therapy). We worked with her all summer to prepare for the final exam which was just a few weeks ago. She passed with flying colors and Ann and I are anxious to get her started at some local facilities. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Throw in a lot of mountain biking, some trail work, a few fishing trips, and some great hikes in the Sandias that I’ve been meaning to do for many years, and the summer passed quickly. Lastly, a trip to the land of Yoopers to help out around the homestead and the summer transitioned into fall. We even managed an awesome paddling trip through the Les Chenaux Islands. Yep, it was a good summer, and we lived life and are so very grateful for all we’ve been given.
|stagewest on a Friday on the mountain|
|Mike on a Friday on the mountain|
|stagewest on inclement|
|Matt on inclement|
|SWES on Summer project|