Labor Day Weekend

Worked and stuff. The Perfect Storm from the library (a practice that will go on hiatus soon with the gift of three months of Netflix from Mel and Em). We're both in agreement that the book is one of the scariest things we've read. The movie fell way short.

Not really much worth mentioning. Errands and paperwork and such.

For my birthday, I wanted to go to Café Pasqual's, where we've not been since moving. For their brunch they have a smoked trout hash — shredded potatoes, smoked trout, poached eggs, tomatillo salsa — that's been a favorite since I stumbled onto it at our first visit in 2002. The wait can be substantial, so we went armed with the Sunday paper and agreed to sit at the first available table, which can mean the big communal table in the middle. We did, with a pretty uncommunicative bunch of folks at our end. Still, though, a marvelous meal.

From there, wandered Canyon Road (also not done since moving). We've decided that, if you just approach the galleries all as museums to walk in and out of as you wish, the whole thing's less intimidating and a whole lot more fun. So we did just that.

A great, well-lit piece of graffiti from that trip:

Other than my license plate getting stolen (we got just the one here) while my car was in the office garage, it was a nice day. Back home to kick back and have tuna tacos and chocolate birthday cake.

A hike. Some looking through the books, deciding in the morning on, per the Santa Fe Sierra Club's Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area, Ancho Rapids.

First, though, breakfast at the Santa Fe Baking Company (which we'd just pinned down the location of the day before). They're the folks who make the breakfast burritos we're so fond of at the Farmers Market. And we made it there to catch the end of the Santa Fe Radio Café, the local NPR morning talk show that broadcasts from one of the tables there.

So fortified, we headed out to the outskirts of White Rock/Los Alamos.

And hit the trail, the first couple miles follows the power lines to the canyon edge.

Which also offers a view of the basalt columns on the opposite mesa.

From the canyon edge, you can see the Rio Grande.

From here, it didn't look like a big deal. A half hour later, we're still descending through the loose rock switchbacks, and opinions change, and I start wondering about how much water we brought. The book said there was a spring-fed creek that made for a good break; the book also said that this hike was "moderate" difficulty.

We stopped for lunch; the view from our spot:

Had our peanut butter and jelly and banana sandwiches. And headed back. That white spot up there in the upper right — that's our destination. Probably just shy of 1000' feet up.

Cliffs on the way up.

Was only probably about 85º, but it was a relentless sun. Around the time the trail leveled back out for the walk back to the car, we could see and hear the thunderclouds in the distance, and it clouded over just as we were nearing the end of the trail (where we made a new lizard friend).

About six miles round trip, 1040' elevation change, four-and-a-half hours. Started raining just as we got to the car.


dj lil'e said...

Happy birthday BRAM! (better late than never...)


Dad M said...

We discovered, somewhat painfully, on our early trips to NM that the NM trail classification nomenclature is at least one level different than CT (or VA), i.e. NM-walk = hike, NM-hike = trek, trek = lifetime commitment & "moderate" (well in NM soon to be Chief Justice Roberts is probably moderate).

Sherry said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Sounds like a great weekend, well the food sounded good, not so much all that hiking stuff! The chocolate cake sounded like a winner too, but then how can you go wrong with chocolate.

gary said...

"smoked trout hash" ... that's illegal in most jurisdictions, no?

Must be "medicinal"