Dripping Springs Hike

dripping-springs1 March 19 - Las Cruces, NM

The Dripping Springs Resort was originally built by Colonel Eugene Van Patten in the 1870's. The resort had 16 rooms, and dining room and concert hall. Visitors rode the stagecoach 6 miles from Las Cruces to the resort raising up from the valley floor through the high plains.

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They continued on into the canyon beyond.

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Some stayed in the cabins nestled in the trees around the dining room.

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Others stayed passed the spring in the larger accommodations.

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The four mile hike had wonderful views in every direction.

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After the hike Lloyd painted a sketch of the La Cueva Rocks while Pamela wandered among the rocks and caves. -L

The

Aguirre Springs Hike

March 13, 2009 Our first hike in Las Cruces took us from desert floor through mountain pines and back on the Aguirre Springs-Pine Tree Loop trail. We gained about 1040 feet elevation through alligator juniper (you'll know by the bark) and piñon (a small pine tree with edible seeds) to ponderosa, oaks, and spruce in just over 4 miles.

For much of the time we had expansive views of Tularosa Basin and White Sands National Monument. We could hear the near constant boom, boom, boom from the White Sands Missile Range.

Check out our views in the gallery below (click a pick to view a larger version):

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-P

Aden Crater

March 7, 2009 One week after out arrival in Las Cruces, New Mexico, we joined two local geologists on their annual hike through the "vent area" of Aden Crater, a preserved volcanic feature with a breadth of about a quarter mile.

I can't remember most of the volcanology terms, but in the photos you will see the following (click a pic to see a larger version): the truncated top of Aden Crater, our trusty guides, volcanic spatter, prickly pear cacti, lava flows where lava flowed out like rivers then solidified, a NASA lunar drill from 1970, and so on.

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A cave-like hold called a Femurole held the remains of a desiccated ground sloth that roamed the area about 11,000 years ago. The sloth now resides at the Smithsonian.

The full day hike was well worth it, not only for the experience of walking in a volcano, but for the stunning scenery (we were near mesmerized by that flaxen grass swaying in the breeze), panoramic views and the new-to-us contrast in landscape.

-P