3 Months Old

Three months have passed since your birth, and oh what you have accomplished in those short three months.

We’re still living with your Grandma & Grandpa Bennett while we wait for our house to be ready for us to move into it. I don’t think they mind much tho.

Your dada & I are enjoying the extra hands to help right now either. Especially while you continue to grow and pick up new skills almost daily.

You had your first Easter egg hunt!

Your dad & I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, so you and I took a trip up there. This was also your first (of many) venture into a national park. You slept through it, but that’s okay, now that we live 30 minutes outside of Glacier National Park, there will be many, many more trips there.

Unable to find reliable care for Rost, I tendered my resignation. After falling into and working my ass off for a career I loved, this wasn’t an easy decision for me but knowing I get to spend my days with you makes it that much easier to walk away from all I’ve worked for. This next adventure is for the both of us.

FHO

About a month ago, Beerus began suddenly limping one evening.

A trip to the emergency vet yielded no results, but his follow-up trip to ABQ Cat Clinic revealed avascular necrosis of his left hip. Beerus has suffered no trauma and isn’t a chronic alcoholic (that I’m aware of), so we’re no sure what caused the bone to die.

Fast forward to a few days ago where Beerus underwent FHO surgery on that left hip, where his surgeon removed the entire ball joint of his left hip.

Over the next few weeks to months, Beerus will develop a false joint entirely our of scar tissue and muscle. When he’s fully healed, he will have full motion back in his left leg without the crippling pain.

For the next few weeks, Beerus is quarantined in the master closet, having to endure the full humiliation of the cone of shame.

Cabezon Peak

Rising 7,785 feet above sea level, Cabezon Peak towers nearly 2,000 feet above the surrounding valley. My first trip down highway 550 left me staring at this small Devil’s Tower wannabe. For two years I’ve dreamed of chasing down this peak – today I planned to make that dream a reality.

While I set out bright & early one morning with my goal in sight, my day would end in missed opportunities and even a few tears.

Like aspects of my life, my trip began long before I hit the steep slopes. I’d been researching not only how to reach this peak but how to possibly ascend it as well. Delving deep into the WWW I’d found a few (really) old threads indicating there might be a way to summit the peak w/out climbing ropes.

I began trekking the trail leading straight up to the base of the volcanic plug. Once at the base I circumnavigated the entire neck searching for a way to scramble the basalt behemoth. While never found a safe route to the summit, I did find snow!

My second set of tears came while descending back down the trail when a wild cactus jumped out of nowhere and bit me straight on the ankle.

All the photos in this post are straight off my iPhone 11. Why not my D4 you may ask? Well, she made it into my pack, but never out of the truck. She’s been giving me some issues lately that came to a head today before we even made it to the trailhead. Hopefully this isn’t the end of our adventures.

To be continued…

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1939 to provide a critical layover for migrating waterfowl, the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is just a hop, skip, and jump south of Albuquerque. Over the winter this outdoor haven is known as home to TENS of thousands of ducks, geese, and cranes. I’d heard whispers of this magical place but had yet to explore it myself until tonight. Hoping the holidays would keep a bit of the crowd at bay, I took off for a quick road trip tonight. The place did not disappoint. I cannot wait for my dad’s next trip to NM to show him this bird watcher’s dream come true.

34th Anniversary of The Incident of 1986

Another trip around the sun means another adventure for this slightly older gal.

Originally I had planned a blitz trip to the warm waters of Mexico for a swim with some whale sharks in their summer feeding grounds. Like just about everything else this year, those plans had to be altered thanks to the still present Covid-19 coronavirus. So, when I knew my original plans were going to be a no go, it was time to come up with a Covid-friendly alternative.

Enter Plan B: Tracking dinosaurs. Well, dinosaur tracking, er, tracks.

While well known locations such as Dinosaur Nation Monument exist within an easy drive, I was trying to respect local Covid-19 restrictions & stay within the borders of New Mexico. I’d heard you could stumble upon tracks out in the desert, or even bones if you were lucky enough, but I was hoping for something a little more predictable than an Israelite walkabout. Enter, Clayton Lake State Park.

And since I was going to have to take the entire day off to make it up there in time, why not make an adventure out of it. So I woke up early, threw my camera bag in the truck & hit the highway. I turned North on I-25, out of Albuquerque, and headed towards the Colorado border. Just over three hours later I arrived in Raton, a mere 10 miles from the state line, and turned east onto State Road 72 – a 36 mile stretch of windy country road that traverses the top of Johnson Mesa.

At the end of the road, in the tiny town of Folsom, I took a five minute tour through the two streets that compromise the whole town before heading south to Capulin Volcano National Monument.

Here I chit chatted with a park ranger about cross country motorcycling, picked up my annual park pass, then headed up the road to the summit of Capulin Volcano. At the top I ran into to young men standing in front of their vehicle. Hood up and clearly in distress, I hopped out of my truck & made a beeline towards them. I asked if they needed help and was immediatly dismissed for being a woman who most likely ‘knew nothing about vehicles or what it was like to be stranded a couple of hours away from home.’ Despite the immediate write off I offered them the only advice I could offer their poor attitudes, “Boys,” I said, “try and enjoy where you are while you’re here because bad days make for some really interesting stories.” With that being said I took my woman self and removed myself from the situation.

The smoke was thick from several local & regional fires – making for beautiful layers to my photography, but difficult to hike in. (Yes ma, I have been trying to get into a GP to get a Rx for my inhaler, but have been unsuccessful in landing one in network thus far) I took my time traversing the Crater Rim trail, stopping to enjoy the beautiful scenes both near and far along the way.

When I arrived at the entrance to Clayton Lake State Park I’d been on the road for somewhere near 8 hours, including stops and side tracks.

I was greeted with not only a closed gate but no trespassing signs posted all around. I’ll admit, I choked on a sob and held back a spring of tears that was welling up in the corners of my eyes. Outside my truck, I stood at the top of a cliff, overlooking the tiny lake and namesake to the park. From here, just a quester mile from my destination, I could see the short 1 mile loop trail I was originally destined to traverse. A gate I could, and most likely would, hop, but the no trespassing signs for this gal meant my journey ended here. My birthday had just been officially 2020’d.

Dejected, I crawled back into my truck and began the four and a half hour drive back to Albuquerque. Wanting to take an alternative route home, I headed south to I-40, then dead West to home. Along the way, when stopping for gas, along with getting myself locked into a closing gift shop, spotted the perfect lizard for the side of my humble adobe home. (Every house in our neighborhood seems to have at least one lizard hidden somewhere on its exterior. Except ours. I have been hunting for the perfect additon since I signed the closing papers) I’m calling this my win for the day.

A special thank you to all my friends and family for the calls, cards, texts, and gifts. Despite the otherwise seemingly regular birthday, I truly know how loved and lucky I am to celebrate such a day. Thank you. Xoxo.

Bug

HBD to me! Well, it’s not quite my birthday yet, but my birthday gift arrive early & since it’s one I’ve been eyeballing for years, Brian let me have it as soon as it arrived.

My first image on my new tripod setup.

Xoxo.

Chicken Corners

Down the Reddit rabbit hole I fell. The longer I lay awake, the further, and harder I fell.

It started with an image of a dust covered Jeep. Although it was the beautiful red rocks that surrounded it that really captured my attention. It only took me a few days to track down all the information I needed to know I could pull this off. Anything else was up in the air, but that’s all I needed at that time. Once I knew it was doable with what I already had on hand, I knew it was only a matter of time.


Moab is exactly a 6 hour and 4 minute drive from my house. After packing the truck and kissing my critters goodbye, Brian & I took off for the New Mexico border. Now while we’re fully aware that there is a global pandemic going on, we packed in such a way that required no human contact for the duration of our trip – extra gas, all the food (and them some) for all meals in the Yeti cooler, Tepui tent sleeping quarters, and all the other ammenities to make travel comfortable and devoid of all human contact.

U.S. Highway 191
Kane Springs Road

We arrived with plenty of time to scope out our camp for the night. It was a balmy 107 at the peak of the afternoon when we arrived. Brian stayed in the air conditioned truck, while I basked in the heat after freezing my butt off in Alaska for 4 years.

The prettiest bathroom.
Baby lizard seeking out shade
Home Sweet Home

I will say when the sun finally set it was the perfect temperature for sleeping. We were up with the sun and it was a beautiful time for photos while breakfast cooked on the grill.

Sunrise in Moab
Close up
Red Rocks

After packing up, we hit the trail for the off-road adventure we had come here for: Chicken Corners OHV Trail. There’s not much I can say about my experience of climbing over 4,500 feet of rocky trail in one of the most beautiful places I have had the priveledge of exploring, so I’m just going to let my pictures doing the talking for me. Enjoy.

Potash Mines from the top of Hurrah Pass
Coming down the pass
Rock formation
Chicken Corners
Layers of the Valley
Colorado River basin
Tepui
Contrasting colors
Sheep!
Sheeps!
Baby jumps
Three’s a crowd
The whole gang
The mighty Colorado
End of the road
The Red Rocks that brought me here

I’m supposed to be back on the East coast visiting my family for the first time in over two years, but thanks to Covid, that trip will have to wait until another time. I’d take time with my family over just about any adventure any time, but as a consolation prize, this was about as good as they get.