October 1 - Wheeler Peak, highest point in New Mexico at 13,161 ft. - 8.2 miles round trip - 3 hours up, 30 minutes on the summit, 2 hours down - awesome hike!
On the drive to Wheeler we had the pleasure of seeing a beautiful black bear run right in front of us across the field towards the mountains. Not sure what he was doing in town (up to no good of course) but it was so nice to see him close up and yet from the safety of our vehicle. This was the start of a great hike. The wildlife did not stop with the bear. Approximately 45 minutes up the trail we ran into 6 Big Horn Sheep (4 moms with 2 babies). They were gorgeous and they didn't seem to care about us sharing the trail with them. For the next hour we hiked together and crossed paths many times. While they headed straight up the mountain we took the two-legged route of nice switchbacks and so we had a great time leapfrogging with them up the beautiful mountain.
October 2 - Black Mesa, highest point in Oklahoma at 4,972.97 ft. (hey, that's what the marker says! don't know why they didn't just round up) - 8.4 miles round trip - 1.5 hours up (well, mostly flat with a 640ft. climb to the top of the mesa), 1 hour at the summit enjoying the beautiful day with a few gentlemen from GA & FL, 1.5 hours down - another awesome hike!
We are now in Tijeras, NM (approx. 15 miles east of Albuquerque) for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. We will be here for one week before heading further south to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains (highest peak in TX) National Park (hoping they are open by then!).
Til next time...Happy Trails!