Coyote Calls

The unseasonably warm weather continues, and that made today an ideal day for a hike.

Off we headed to the Valles Caldera, always a favorite spot. Our destination, the Coyote Call trail, which we were thwarted in finding on our vacation in September 2004. It was an unusual opportunity; MB noted that we shouldn't be able to hike in the Caldera at this time of year.

A late-ish start got us to the trailhead around noon. Los Alamos is a few hundred feet higher than Santa Fe and, on a mesa, is even more exposed. Probably in the high 40s-low 50s when we got out of the car, but the wind cooled things. The beginning of the trail is exposed and uphill, but pretty quickly it leads along a ridge in the pine and aspen forest. Shady, but protected. There were still little spots of snow, very granular, and barely enough to cover the ground, where the sun never quite reaches.

The trail runs parallel to the road, a few hundred feet up. The forest is pretty dense, though the aspens are all bare. Every so often, there was a view of the caldera.

I never tire of looking at that.

The whole trip was about three miles — an easy three miles. Still, at around the halfway point, a rock in a sunny place was a welcome spot to sit and have a snack.

Down the hill, the wind picking up more, a steeper descent. Looks like this might be a cross-country trail when there's snow.


Girl Please! said...

Wow! Those pics are amazing! I'm tres jealous. Although we have some really cool woods 3 blocks from our house (the only reason why I live where I live).
I should post some.

So what is it like in NM? I always dug AZ for it's beauty but now NM has got me going.

Paul said...

Looks like some great hiking! I actually packed up my gear and was all set to head out for some winter hiking when Kelly and Julie's twins arrived (yesterday morning).

Everyone is healthy, but tired. Addison was 8 lbs 7 oz and Emma was 7 lbs 1 oz.

Happy New Year, all y'all!

monica said...

Well, we try to keep this blog kind of light (the gradparents read it) But... New Mexico is a weird place. The biggest employer is the state government. It's not as deserty as AZ. The northern half of the state is actually at a pretty high elevation — foothills of the Rockies. So, cold winters and a growing season more like New England. But with less water. There are big statewide drunk driving problems. There gap between the really rich and the really poor is HUGE. This is particularly evident in Santa Fe. But the minimum wage here in the city is higher than the national min. wage. It's dry, dry, dry. There's a ski basin 15 miles from our apartment, run by the Forest Service. The mountains and landforms to the north of us were formed by giant volcanic explosions millions of years ago. The Rio Grande cuts through it all, north to south, and near Taos, has created some really spectacular gorges and canyons. Further south, the land flattens out and the river supports all kinds of agriculture (usually). The public schools in Santa Fe are underfunded — if we ever have kids... private school? home school? Who knows? This is one of the most dog- and kid-friendly place I've seen. Random enough for you? But regardless, Bram and I just kind of fell in love with NM anyway. Sometimes a place just feels like it's where you belong... I guess it remains to be see whether or not it's the best place for us. We're enjoying it now, though.

WOOO HOOOOOO!!!! AWESOME! dang, them's some big twins! Good for Julie! Our congrats to her and Kelly! Yaaaaaaaay!

PS ... is Addison a boy or girl? :)