Archive for November, 2011

On a trip to the heartland I shot another video of the annual Beer Mile:

After a few Thanksgiving meals I needed to work off some of the calories consumed. Hiking with the Bloomington Hikers served that purpose nicely.

As usual, I led a hike of the eastern portion of the old Blue Diamond Trail around the Deam Wilderness.

Seeing old friends again is another benefit of hiking with the group.

The surprisingly warm day brought out some wildlife none of us expected to see this time of year.

The extra hiking I’ve been doing this fall seems to have helped and I felt much better after this hike than the same one last year. That bodes well for the upcoming marathon I’ll be sweeping.

Complete photo gallery from the hike.

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Deteriorating weather locally and some airfare credits sent Tara and I down to Albuquerque for a three day weekend trip. Our first objective was Albuquerque’s open space visitors center where we checked out the recently arrived migrants.

The number of sandhill cranes was limited this mid-morning by the visitors center so we took a hike out to the Rio Grande for a few more sightings.

A perfect recommendation sent us to Sophia’s for lunch followed by a visit to Los Poblanos Fields for more birding and horsing around.

Our hosts for the weekend (Sarah and Dan) cooked up a great dinner and generally psyched us up to attend their wedding next summer.

I hadn’t done any Tai Chi since a college course, but Tara and I joined the Saturday morning “Tai Chi with the Cranes” session back at the visitors center.

Heading a bit further west we visited the Petroglyph National Monument for a short hike around Rinconada Canyon.

Returning to Sarah and Dan’s place we got a guided tour of Bear Canyon.

Sunday started a little slower, but before noon we got another guided tour of the Academy grounds by Sarah.

Our destination was “Girl Power Peak” with a great view of the socked-in Sandias Crest.

Heading back to the airport we had just enough time for a stop at the Chama River Brewery for dinner before catching our flight.

Complete photo album

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I think this one was my idea. Anyway, Pete was game. He’d climbed “Twin Sisters Peak East” back in his days of being a Rocky Mountain National Park rat, but only a trail rat. He’d orphaned it’s trail-less neighbor “Twin Sisters Mountain” so off we went to right some age-old wrongs.

The trail was well packed and so the snowshoes stayed on our packs, and we even met the originator of the tracks ahead of us as a frozen looking fellow descended without wind-proof gear muttering about the cold. Just below treeline we suited up. I was out classed today by Pete’s snazzy red suspenders.

Yes the wind did blow, but we stayed up right and made it to the saddle between the west Twin Sister (unranked) and the East (ranked) sis.

Food and hot tea seemed more appetizing out of the wind, so we huddled in the lee of a radio shed before venturing towards the East Sis.

A bit of rock hoping and some full-on-mitten-scrambling brought us to the summit.

Conditions seemed to be on our side, the wind wasn’t really that bad, and we figured we had time. So from the summit of East Sis Peak, we picked out a vague route up Twin Sis Mountain and sorta stuck with it.

The snowshoes continued to do a lot of good on our backs.

If nothing else, they probably kept us from blowing away.

A bit of loose talus, snow-covered of course, provided the perfect highway for our slog.

The second summit gained, we decided to take another lee-side break below the top.

Following our tracks, we carefully picked our way down the rocks and thin snow cover to the saddle between the sisters.

From the saddle we avoided another climb up East Twin Sis, by taking a more direct route to the radio tower and shed.

From here it was a short hike back down to tree line where all those extra layers could be shed.

Miles (it’s true, miles!) of hiking snow covered trails that we couldn’t remember from the morning, but must have hiked up, brought us back to a truck which was much better than walking all the way home.

Complete photo gallery

This post edited while enjoying Bristol’s B6000 Dubbel.

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