Sunday, 4/18/21: Bills and Trails

Our 5 mile hike in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Checkbooks and calendars

I just can’t keep them straight

I am dollar short and a day late

—Asleep At The Wheel

I like to tackle the bills around the 1st and 15th of the month. This month it slipped back to the 18th. Many of our bills are on autopay, but there a couple of important ones that I still do manually.

Once that chore was completed, it was time to hike. But, dang it was cold. At noon, it hadn’t broken the 50º mark yet. Last night dipped down to 38º and we had the heater set at a comfortable sleeping temp of 60º.

By 1:30 pm, we finally reached 50º, so we set out on our hike. The Aguirre Springs Campground is set in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. There are several trailheads within the campground that lead to trails that zig-zag up and down the mountains. With the aid of Gaia GPS, I mapped out a 3 mile loop, which I figured to be 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles down. Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately, we took a wrong fork and ended up on the 5 mile loop called the Pine Tree Loop. Yowza, that first 2.5 miles up was a toughie.

The scenery was amazing, and once we reached the halfway point and started down, our spirits really picks up. Rocks, vistas, desert vegetation, mountain peaks - we got an eyeful.

Aguirre Springs BLM Campground is in the middle of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. We thought we were on a 3 mile hike but ended up on a 5 miles loop.

Here is another pareidolia. Wanda sees an animal attacking another. I see an animal mating with another.

These beetles take a defensive posture by burying their heads in the dirt and lifting their butts high up in the air. At first I thought this was one of those acid squirting bugs. But, no blinding burning acid came out to eat my skin or blind my eyes. Later, We looked them up and found out that they are called Pinacate Beetles. And they do squirt, but its not acid. If provoked, they squirt a foul smelling liquid much like skunks.

I have a few observations about this southeastern corner of New Mexico: 1) New Mexicans mask-up. Even on the trails on breezy days or outside walking around a downtown, we see about a third of the people wearing masks. And indoors, it is 100%. 2) There are many young inter-racial couples, something that I applaud. Of course, I understand that race is a unscientific bogus concept. 3) People here are very friendly. 4) Roadrunners are the coolest birds. Technically, they can fly but prefer to run. I tried to get a photo of one but I would need an Acme rocket to keep up. 5) At White Sands we read about a rare carnivorous mouse that seeks out a rock and roars like a lion after a kill. I wonder if they would take on these stinky Pinacate Beetle.

Tomorrow we are off to City of Rocks State Park and the Gila National Forest.

Dave and Wanda

Mask Up To Save Lives.

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