Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lone Buck Mountain

Running up Lone Buck Mountain,
with a nice cold wind blowing from the west.
 Going up.  Looking across Bear Canyon at Picacho.
 The top of Picacho, still above me.   
 One of my favorite color combinations.  In oil paints, that green is ivory black + cadmium yellow light.
 The first false summit beckons.
The ski basin comes into view, north, through the ponderosas.
 A gap in the ponderosas.
 Second false summit.
 Looking west, across Santa Fe, to the Jemez Mountains,  where the fires burned this summer.
 The scruffy head of my old friend Atalaya.  My parents' ashes lie on top.
 The summit.  The sun is just rising up here.
 Picacho, below me now.
 Looking south, across the slope of Atalaya, to the Cerrillos Hills, and Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains.
 OK, no more photos of pink rocks with green lichen.
 Ready to head back down.  Sort of. 
 McLure Reservoir, at drought level.
One small step for man . . . Dang!  I thought I was the only human ever to set foot in this pristine wilderness.  I'm certainly not the only being.  Just passed a pile of bear scat.  My kids say no more scat photos.
 Looking down on Santa Fe, St. John's College in the foreground.
 Picacho, looming large again.
 Noodling around with hand-held camera.  I prefer going up to going down.
 But it's down I must go.
 Looking west one last time before it all disappears in trees.
 The ridge between Picacho and Atalaya.
 Last view of the ski basin.  Into the trees.
 I wandered too far south on the way down, apparently to photograph this dead tree. . . 
  . . . and ended up, as usual, overcorrecting to the north and landing between two sets of gnarly cliffs.  I call it the Bermuda Triangle.  Once, I was here in a big wind and I thought there was someone above, throwing rocks at me.  After tearing a tendon in a wild attempt to elude my tormentor, and contemplating it in the ER, I concluded it must have been the west wind throwing rocks at me.
 There's only one way out of the Bermuda Triangle.
 Follow the tracks of a rabbit.
They always know the best way.