Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Season of Discontent

The calendar says its still February, but spring has begun in the lower elevations of southeast New Mexico. While most people look forward to springtime, with its promises of warm weather and wildflowers, I am not a fan of the season. Here in Carlsbad (and in many other parts of the western US), spring means the windy season. The winds here can make it very uncomfortable to spend time outdoors. With blowing dust, grit, and pollen.

To be honest I've never really been much of a fan of springtime. In Duluth, spring was just an extension of winter, with cold winds often blowing off Lake Superior. Even growing up in Philadelphia, I remember spring as being a tease. It would bring the promise of warm weather, but not until late May or June was warm weather a guarantee. And so this morning Noelle, Robby and I set out to Whites City, where we planned on embarking on a hike of the Old Guano Road Trail. High winds were not in the forecast, yet when we started our hike a strong, cold wind blew out of the north. We hiked through a stile and into Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
CCNP Boundary

Noelle Squeezes Through the Stile
The hiking was not a pleasant experience. It was remarkably cold. The sound of the wind buffeting our ears made conversation nearly impossible. Still, we continued up the escarpment to a nice view of the High Guads.
Hiking Old Guano Road
We went a bit further before we decided to turn around. It just didn't seem worth the effort to continue on in the wind. I know we could have safely continued on, but we wouldn't have enjoyed it. 

And so we headed back down and into Whites City. We found some interesting sponge fossils in the limestone
Sponge Fossil
and then looked around the gift shop there and then headed back into town. We had the last of our Minnesota wild rice burgers, sweet potato fries, and Robby made a pineapple mango salad for lunch. After Robby left I took some time to do some minor repairs to our MSR Whisperlite stove,
Whisperlite Repair
 which seemed to be operating inefficiently during our Big Bend trip. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for even stronger winds tomorrow.     

1 comment:

Devnya said...

keep up the good work!