Hike an Rest and Hike some more

Trip Start Dec 31, 2012
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73
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Trip End May 04, 2013


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What I did
The Cave Paintings

Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We got out on the Rim Trail this morning at about eleven.  We had hoped to visit the paintings at ten, but it had cooled down significantly during the night, getting down into the low fifties with an insistent wind lingering.  By the time we headed out, it was in the lower sixties.

We hiked to and along the rim for about a mile and got a few shots of the flora and a rock squirrel to contribute to the flora of the day.  I did spot a gangly, long-eared hare, but he was way too quick for me to shoot.  It was windy on the rim, but comfortable.

After lunch, we took the afternoon tour of the canyon itself.  Our guide, Tanya, has been in the field of wildlife and such for about fifteen years "and some change."  She was a wealth of information.  The hike was about a mile and a half in length.  The cave paintings have been carbon-dated to a period from some four thousand years ago.  These folks, according to the guide, are referred to a "Archaic Indians."  No particular tribe is known, thus the word archaic is used.  This terminology is new to us.  The paintings, since they are exposed to the air, have faded since they were last documented with modern drawing skills, in 1938.  Much of what was there then, is no longer visible.  The figures are unlike any we have seen in Arizona or on our tour of the Ute Indian Reservation in Utah, in 2005.  There's no real explanation for them, so one can just use the onboard imagination to figure them out.  One, which is represented by the modern day sculpture near the Visitors Center is still clear enough for comparison.  I took a shot of each, so you can be the judge.  For my convenience sake, the photos will be on Flickr, if you're interested.

The prickly pear cactus is in bloom now, opening fully in the afternoon sun.  After the bloom falls, the fruit grows.  It has the flavor of a pear and is sweet.  Hence the name...  Thence comes Prickly Pear Jelly.

We've noticed a lot of migrating birds that normally don't reside here in this hot space on the earth.  Orioles are among them.  I got a shot of a yellow-headed Flicker too.  Very similar in size and markings of the one we have home.  Some species have been feeding on the bird seed that fell from our feeder when it waved in the breeze during the night.  Of course, the larger birds run off the smaller ones, as in any pecking order.

It got into the mid-seventies by this afternoon and the air is such that you don't breathe the same breath twice.  Wind has a way of circulating air very effectively, most anywhere.

We're moving on tomorrow to a State Campground where we stopped on the way southeast, Balmorhea State Park.  Here they have a large pool fed by hot springs, keeping the temperature at about seventy five all year around.  It should be warm out enough to take a dip this go around.  That would be a "wade" for me, of course.

See y'all later...and thanks!
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Comments

Sus on

Back to 60 here today after 15 yesterday morning....crazy weather we are having! I got to lose the crutches today. Very happy about that....now I'm ready to hike so get your buns home. I should be ready to go by the time you do :D

Mike Noble on

Looks like you are slowly plodding your way back west...while keeping nice and warm. Hey....would you lead me back through the access to your Flickr account or am I missing a web connection on this blog?

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