Rock Hound Days – March 2019

Wednesday March 20: It was super windy all night here at Rock Hound New Mexico State Park, so I didn’t sleep well, and the wind continues throughout the day. After breakfast, we start the accounting for 2018. Once done, we walk to the Visitors Center, just to get out. The Visitors Center is already closed for the day, but a short Nature Trail provides a diversion before we head back to our campsite.

Ocotillo blossom on the Nature Trail

We sit out to watch the sunset before dinner. Viola, email, text, and journal finish out the day.

Thursday March 21: Today is another windy day, but I get photos of the poppies before it gets too bad. After breakfast, we start the 2018 taxes. Mostly Clifford does the taxes, but I am in charge of receipts and check book register and can be called upon to clarify expenses now and then. Mostly I work on the next blog. Once the taxes are done, I take care of email, as well as sending texts with photos to family.

In the afternoon, we start the 2019 accounting. Taking a break, we sit outside to watch the sunset. Soup for dinner, as it is too late to do anything more than that. Clifford watches a documentary on the Civil War, which is extremely depressing and hard to ignore. I keep working on the blog, but this documentary is a very unpleasant way to end the day.

Friday March 22: Today we start working on fund-raising campaigns for Carnicom Institute. These campaigns will form the basis of the prospective changes to the direction of CI and are needed for the presentation that Clifford will be giving in Santa Fe in April.

It is relatively calm this morning, so we decide to make an outing to Spring Creek, just a few miles away in the Florida Mountains, a small but very rugged mountain range in southwest New Mexico. Las Floridas was the name given because of the expanses of California poppies that used to bloom on the lower slopes. Due to changes in climate, fewer poppies bloom in New Mexico, but the name remains.

The rugged Florida Mountains – Las Floridas

We drive up the mountain to the end of the road looking for the Spring Creek trailhead.

Steep ups and downs

There are several picnic tables and shelters at the end of the road, but we are the only ones here. The wind has come up again, so Clifford flies his kite.

Wind is good for kites

Looking at the kiosk map, we see that the trail from here, the Lovers’ Leap Trail, is very steep. The Spring Creek Trail is back down the way we came, but not marked. We eventually find the overgrown road that once led to picnic tables on the mountainside, a road long since abandoned in favor of the current road.

Once a picnic site

Walking along this abandoned road, we find the Spring Creek trail, obviously not used often, along the rocky side of a ravine. It looks like a great place to find rattlesnakes, with hundreds of rocky hiding places. Yikes!

The trail goes up a steep draw to a ridge, and about the time I’m ready to turn back, Clifford, who has gone on ahead, finds the dry creek bed, which leads to a small spring.

Yes, this is the trail with lots of places for rattlesnakes to hide

The water flows out over the rocks in the shade of juniper and scrub oak trees. We find big rocks to sit on and relax in this cool moist spot. Going up was taxing for the cardio-vascular system, going down is hard on the knees, and we stay ever-vigilant for snakes.

Looking back up the trail; staying ever-vigilant for rattlesnakes

Back at camp, it is still early enough to make a trip to Deming for errands. When we return, naps are in order, as it has been a very busy day. Later, Clifford flies his kite in the campground, which is fine until the long tail gets caught in a tall ocotillo. This is not a good thing, but Clifford figures a clever way to get the kite tail out of the thorny bush.

Clifford getting kite tail out of the ocotillo

In the evening, I pick photos for the next blog, send texts with photos, and check Facebook after posting a photo there, while Clifford works on his projects. What a jam-packed day!

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