Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge: North Unit

Noelle gave me permission to go on an adventure today and so I headed up to Roswell to Bitter Lake NWR. I wanted to explore the Salt Creek Wilderness a bit.
Salt Creek Wilderness
Since I had very little information about it I headed to the visitor center and asked the volunteer about it. he had no idea what I was talking about but luckily got the assistance of one of the paid staff who gave me directions to the trailhead off US70.

I drove the Old Clovis Highway to the trailhead and headed out on the trail which was really a road.
Trail
The road marked the eastern boundary of the wilderness area.
Capitan Peak and Wilderness Sign
My intention for this hike was to see if I could find some of the sinkhole ponds that are said to be found here. Along my hike I saw lots of late season flowers in bloom
Asters
Sunflowers
Interesting Red Flowers
White Flower Cluster
Yellow Flowers
and some wildlife as well. I saw a coyote sun away as I approached it, some sandhill cranes flying overhead, and lots of lizards.

Eventually I even found one of the sinkhole ponds.
Sinkhole
On a hot October day the water looked refreshing and I thought about jumping in, but thought that getting out of it might prove to be difficult. Just past the sinkhole was a flagged trail. I followed it into the wilderness a bit hoping it might lead to something interesting. Instead it seemed to dead end as a mound of clay and pebbles. I bushwacked back to the road and continued to follow it north until it came to the boundary fence. I then followed the boundary fence east to the completely dry Pecos River.
The Pecos River
I turned around there and retraced my steps back to the car.
On the Trail (Road)

After leaving the refuge I drove east a short distance to the ghost town of Acme. The most obvious evidence of the former town is the ruins of the Frazier Schoolhouse.
Frazier School Ruins
I checked out the schoolhouse and surrounding buildings for a bit and then headed into Roswell to buy a few things before heading home.
Water Building
            

2 comments:

Pam and Wayne said...

Looks like all that schoolhouse needs is a roof and some desks!

Pam and Wayne said...

You might want to disable word verification, it took me 5 tries to get one that would go through!