Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hiking in the Organ Mountains

Friends, Bill and Anne, moved to Las Cruces this year; we spent 5 nights there, visiting. Our visit included two hikes into the Organ Mountains; browsing the local art galleries at “Art Ramble”; attending an ‘open mike’ music night; and experiencing the Cinco de Mayo Festival.

IMG_2270 [50%]The Organ Mountains, named from the resemblance of it’s peaks to the pipes of an organ, are considered one of the steepest ranges in the western U.S.

Over a distance of only 3 miles, the peaks rise more than 4,000 feet, topping out at 9,000.IMG_2261b

A primitive campground is situated among the boulders, and there are several hiking trails throughout the designated National Recreation Area.

IMG_2273 [50%]We chose the Pine Tree National Recreation Trail, a 4.5 mile hike, a circular route around a mountain basin. The elevation climbs from 5,900 ft to 6,900 ft at the summit. Ron and I were not used to the elevation change, coming from Yuma (elevation 200 ft) just a few weeks previously. By the time we reached the highest point, we were both breathing hard.

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The hike afforded wonderful views. In the foreground we could see the White Sands Military Establishment, and in the distance, the White Sands National Monument, more than 30 miles away.

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We took our time on the hike, stopping often for photo sessions, and about half way through from lunch.

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Pena Blanca

A couple of days later, Bill and Anne introduced us to the Pena Blanca area, one of two professionally excavated prehistoric sites. The Pena Blanca rock shelters were excavated in the 1980s. In them was found the earliest known cultivated corn in the US.

IMG_2438 [50%] We drove out a gravel/dirt road, then walked about a mile to reach the mountains.

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The climb was at times steep, with no trail, but alongside striking rock formations.

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IMG_2513 [50%]Holes, assumed to have been used for grinding corn and grain, were abundant.

IMG_2567 [50%]We found several chips of “worked” flint and stone, either parts of arrowheads, or the discarded fragments.

IMG_2557 [50%]We ate our lunch in one of the naturally carved shelters, wondering, had families eaten their meals here, centuries ago? What would it be like to live in such a manner for your whole life?

The Organ Mountains are a place of ruggedness, wild beauty and mystery. Hopefully, we’ll return again to explore here.

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