Pics from my camping trip over the 4th

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Went camping with my kids over the long weekend up near Red River, NM. Its a river valley in the Northern NM mountains near Wheeler Peak. Elevation of our campsite was about 8600 feet. First picture is of the Red River that was about 50 feet from our campsite. Its not red. I have no idea why the name.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

There were a number of the firecracker-red Penstemons all around the camp.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

These look very similar to the Pussy-Toes I picked up at the plant store a little bit ago. Any confirmations?

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

We went on a hike up Columbine Canyon. This picture is of the start. Note the Aspens and the Ponderosa Pine. Up higher the Ponderosas disappeared and were replaced by Blue Spruce. The higher elevation Aspens looked healthier too. We made 4 miles up the canyon and 4 miles back. Our Shitzu (thats the thing that looks like a dog) was toasted.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

One of several bridges we crossed going back and forth across the stream running down the canyon.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

At the opening to a nice meadow.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Its not every day you come across llamas.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

A nice Columbine. I'd assume C. caerulea from the flower color.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Closeup on the flower.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Back at camp. Some Chipmunks that had their burrow under the roots of a pine tree just above our site. These were not as tame (thank goodness) as some I've enounterd at major national parks. They kept their distance and we enjoyed them that way.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Forgot this one from the hike. A deep orangish-rust colored mushroom. Its about 3" across.

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Last picture - breakfast on our last day camping. Blueberry buttermilk, pancakes, by request, and they were quite tasty.

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Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Looks like a great trip! Glad you took some landscape photos. I usually forget to do that because I am only looking at what is right in front of me.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Really enjoyed your trip. It was quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanette

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh how gorgeous, Dave who is Dave! Yum!

I laughed about buying pussy toes though, I have been weeding them out. We have two kinds, one plain and one what they call Rosy pussy toes which is pink and if they were showing up in the garden I might not weed them out, the others are all over the place here.......... not sure from your photo if that's the plant but doesn't look like it.

Too bad that borrowed camera is gone, I would photograph some for you if I had it.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well of course more than one variety, goodness, lots of different ones, and that could be one, Dave...... I couldn't find a good photo of the ones we have around here but this might be like the ones you are looking at. The ones I see here don't have quite that long a whisker on them, more a puffball effect, LOL!

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Thanks all. We did have fun.

Yes, that is another very similar plant Kyla. Your picture, my picture, and the ones in my pots.

I find some of the plants we buy ironic too. We have Apache Plume all over the open space outside of Albuquerque. 30 years ago and more, they got pulled out and replaced with lawns. Now people are down at the nursery buying them again. I don't mind getting plants at the store though. If 50,000 people all went out and dug one of the existing ones up ... I think seeds are fine, but most people don't know to go collect them in the fall and plant them in their own pots. Even funnier is that we have Arctostaphylos pungens (Mexican Point-Leaf Manzanita) growing in the Western third of our state - somewhere out there. Its a bit of terrain to cover to find one though. I ordered seeds. From France. :)

I also think part of the benefit of buing them at the store is that the plant is identified. When you know the name you can access all the available information on the plant to help you grow it. I'm not a botanist and, on a hike in the local mountains, I can't name most of the plants I see.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

What a luvly trip!!! Thanks for sharing Dave who is Dave. I'm always worried I'm going to bring home an invasive plant from a walkabout. I do collect some seeds but don't put them in the garden til I have them IDed.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Thats a good way to do it dahlianut. I can see a class or a book on botany in my future.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well if I ever get my hands on a camera again, for any length of time, I know for sure one thing I will do is go out and photograph plants and come in to the computer and look them up........ there are a couple roadside wildflowers here I have not managed to ID that are beautiful, as well as occasional things here and there.........

Santa Fe, NM

That is a fun thing to do Kyla. I enjoyed the camp-out, Dave. It is beautiful country and looks like good camp sites. Do you need a high clearance vehicle to get up to the campgrounds?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

No high clearance vehicle needed roybird. Even a loaded-to-capacity Geo Metro could do it. The roads were better maintained than the parking lot of the apartments a friend of mine lives in. The sites weren't far off the highway anyway. The only thing I was tempted to do differently was to take a pack on our hike and just keep going on into the wilderness for a few days.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

with a llama.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

A llama would be great for backpacking. Carry your stuff and eat grass.

Santa Fe, NM

Sounds great! We have not been on our summer camping trip yet. I usually like to go to Sugarite State Park near Raton but it might be fun to go somewhere different.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Sugarite looks nice too. I'd prefer to spend more time both places.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Looks like an excellent adventure! Beautiful country... thank you for sharing!

Santa Fe, NM

Yeah, Dave, I know what you mean. So many beautiful places here!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I agree, Dave. That looks like a great trip. And your daughter is a lovely young lady, I must say. One year, I spent the summer as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor 1964, I believe. I lived in a tent the entire summer. Since then, I have avoided camping as much as possible. Though I had to take my stepson and DH camping when stepson was in first or second grade. His teacher wanted him to gather various items from nature and he felt the only way it could be done was on a camping/hiking trip. DH didn't tell me that he didn't even know how to start a fire, much less cook on a Coleman stove or light a Coleman lamp. Of course, I should have realized that if he couldn't cook on an electric stove he was highly unlikely to be able to cook on a Coleman stove.
We bought a tent for the occasion and brought the dog and went to Santa Clara canyon for the campout. -- not far from here at all. Well, I had to do everything starting the fire, lighting the stove, cooking the food, lighting the lantern. I think DH did help pitch the tent because it came with directions. After dinner we headed for bed -- I was totally exhausted. The dog was part collie and we were having him sleep outside the tent. He wasn't inclined to wander. Only he began barking and barking and barking. We kept checking to see if there was any problem outside and couldn't find one, but he was freaked out. Finally we had to bring him in the tent with us and it was crowded already. A 6-person tent really only holds about 2 people as far as I am concerned. With three of us and a collie only David ( my stepson) slept.
The next morning we woke up and discovered that an entire herd of cattle had walked through the camp site and that was no doubt what the dog was aware of and trying to protect us from. They didn't cause any harm, but they did leave a lot of poop behind.
We went for a walk and David got his three items from nature to take to school the next school day and I went home and crashed. I have never been so exhausted.
I don't think I have been camping since -- but I came close to it in some of the "hotels" we stayed in in Thailand. I am no longer fond of camping but I do know the joys it can bring -- especially for kids and dogs.
The Red River area is beautiful -- the camp where I worked was at Eagle's Nest, not far away. And what a treat to see the llamas. I saw some one up at Lake Katherine about 1982 or so. I almost fainted. I had never heard of llamas being used in New Mexico. But they are very cute.

Santa Fe, NM

Llamas are used as pack animals here fairly often. I think they became popular in the '90's. I've been told that they are quite intelligent, alert and gentle. I like camping but DH tends to do a lot of the cooking, just as at home. I am not one who must have 3 meals a day and he is so fixated on that. I think it gets in the way of enjoying the experience. He is quite enamored of Indian food in bags. I like to have tea and instant coffee, salted nuts, dried fruit and oatmeal cookies. I'm pretty easy on camping. The less we have to do, the better. If we are near a town, tho, I like to go in for smoothies and ice cream!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Camping can be a pain, like you said pajarito. I like to keep things simple as roybird indicated, but don't get into the dehydrated "meal in a bag" things unless I am carrying everything and need to travel light. I do like simple meals so I don't spend all my time cooking. We had hamburgers and spaghetti for dinners. Breakfast and lunch almost never involve cooking except for the coffee.

I don't usually sleep well the first night in a tent. The 2nd night, after an 8 mile hike and a game of hide-n-seek, I have no problems sleeping.

Mostly I like to get away from the city and to be surrounded by nature for a time.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Yeah, I remember that feeling, Dave. It is nice. It worked better when I was with the Girl Scouts were everybody had a chore and knew more or less how to perform it, though with campers in their early teens that was a problem, too.
I remember one particular camping trip while at the Sangre de Cristo Girl Scout Camp where they decided we should pack in to some spot, build tents from twine, irrigation plastic and clothes pins and camp for four days. That was way beyond the skills of most of those campers. They had a hard time finding things to tie their tents to. The original idea was probably from back east where they have soil. There was no way to drive a stake into rock so they had to find two trees close together. They had to tie the twine really tight or it would slide down the trees, etc. etc. Then, as it does in the Mountains near Eagle's Nest it proceeded to pour rain on us. The counselors tents stayed up, but the counselors spent the night running from camper tent to camper tent when the tents fell down and rebuilding them in the pouring rain.
And of course the menu included giant government excess roasts cooked in canvas underground and other "simple" dishes.
Now I prefer to hike in to a beautiful spot and hike out before nightfall. Of course you can't do that with the very best spots, I agree, but I love my back yard and the comforts of my bed and bath tub with restaurants nearby.
I think camping is wonderful for young people and I have no regrets about the many, many camping trips I went on. But now I prefer to garden and to sit out on the deck with a refreshing beverage and watch the dog run laps of the yard.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Refreshing beverage on the patio in the yard - that is quite enjoyable in itself.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Somehow, wildlife comes to me. See what was walking down the street this morning when DH went out for the paper.

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Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Here is a better picture of him scampering away when I guy driving and SUV and talking on the phone came down the street. This certainly explains why the neighborhood roses and fruit trees and crocus stay will trimmed -- ah yes, lilies, too.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Oops now the picture!

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Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Nice pictures!

Santa Fe, NM

Sweet deer! I thought, for some reason you were in L.A. Did your D.H. have surgery already? And he's walking to get the paper! Good recovery.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

We don't see deer walking down our street very often here ...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

No we leave for LA on Tuesday. DH is still walking -- feebly -- hence the surgery. We will be back on July 22. While DH hangs out in the hospital, I will spend time with him, but I will also partake of some of the fun and restaurants in Santa Monica. I will get takeout for DH.
I think it is hilarious that our deer prefer the street and the sidewalk to the soil. Just like the rest of us. I thought this was a particularly cute deer. Bears and Mt. Lions and bobcats also walk around in our neighborhood.

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