8 Feb 2014--Our longtime friends, Hallie and Donna, joined us Friday and Saturday for a couple hikes, this one being again in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, TX, the Mundy's Gap Trail. All fresh-faced and bushy-tailed, we are about to set out!!! (Hallie and Donna are a little over-prepared for the cold at this point--haha)
Not even off the paved road yet, Hallie is faltering and de-clothing.
Hallie, we love you to death, but this is just too funny! Check out Hallie's face in the 3rd and 4th pics.
And while Cathy is still fresh, Hallie is laboring!!!
Getting a 2nd wind, it gets a lot colder the higher we go.
Check out Hallie's face in these pics.
Cathy, Donna and I hit a plateau for some good pics.
But when we turn around, there is initially no sign of Hallie. I spot something in the distance in the 1st pic, but not being sure what it is I zoom in with pics 2 and 3...and realize Hallie has given up and awaits us upon our return from the summit. haha
Up, up, up we go...it's actually pretty cold and windy up here...but beautiful and well worth the trip.
On the descent.
The previous pics were from Friday, while the next ones were on Saturday when we initially tried to go to White Sands National Monument in Alamagordo, New Mexico. Hallie was stationed there, at Holloman AFB, 34 yrs ago, so was familiar with the area. The strip of white you see in the background of these pictures are part of the over 235 square miles of White Sands that we were hoping to take a ride through, but due to a Air Force drone crash in the Sands, they were closed for the next several days. Ugh! Cathy and I hope to return and take a tour of them when we return at the end of this trip in May/June.
So like I said, Hallie is familiar with this area, so she took us to the Sacramento Mountains where she and her friends spent some time when they were young. She insisted that they used to take this particular trail to the bottom where there was a beautiful waterfall, so against our better judgement we followed her lead. When you look at these pics, keep in mind that Hallie is 61 yrs old and has absolutely horrible knees. But she really wants to go, so we start out.
This is really steep, and downright treacherous.
And it was at about this point, when Donna is laughing out loud at the prospect of continuing, that we thought better of the whole deal and climbed back to the top. haha
We talked to this cowboy along the road and he pointed us in a direction of another trail, a safer one this time. That is a barrel cactus growing out of some rocks, and in the 3rd pic what appears to be some rocks protruding down the mountainside are actually the remnants of a mud slide that happened tens of thousands of years ago, and are now rocks. Cool, huh?
Cowboy sent us to Bridal Veil Trail, a fairly flat 2 1/2 mile round-trip trail, but we did have to cross a couple ravines. Check out Donna's face in the 2nd pic of the 2nd row...I'm not sure you can tell that there is water beneath those stepping stones, but we were all happy to not end up in the drink.
Hallie leads the way to the Bridal Falls at the end of the trail (you have to click on the 1st 2 pics to see her, I think). Notice the crusty snow that remains unmelted...it is probably in at least the mid-50s and quite pleasant as we came up to this spot, but colder in the shade, for sure.
Cathy is above the waterfall with Hallie looking up at her.
Back in the car we went, towards a town at the top of the mountain called Cloudcroft. The Cloudcroft Trestle behind Donna, Hallie and Cathy is all that is left of a railroad excursion through these mountains that started in 1898 and ended in 1947. The train used to take passengers right by Bridal Veil Falls where we were hiking earlier. I was surprised at how much snow was still in the mountains.
At the end of the day, we descend the mountain to go home...there are the White Sands in the background again...such a pretty area!!!