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Redemption Hike / Climb

Sunday, February 02, 2014

On our New Mexico trip last week, we went for a hike / climb at a place called Tent Rocks. This was a redemption hike for me. Two years ago we were there also in winter and went to Tent Rocks with the family to hike the canyon and climb to the top, but I could not physically do it and had to wait part way up for the rest of them to go to the top and return. That was not a good feeling...embarrassing at the least. So, last week we did it. It's not a long hike, about 2.5 miles round trip with a climb at the end of about 700 feet, and I did it easily!

First the trail goes through a slot canyon, which I think is really neat. It is shaded from the sun which is nice in summer but made it cold in January. Here's a look:

The slot gets a little narrow in places but not uncomfortably so:

The site is called Tent Rocks after these rather unique rock formations that resemble tents from the erosion of the softer layers under the hard cap stones. These are some of the "tents":
After the slot canyon, the trail starts to climb and is quite steep for the last bit:

This is about where I had to stop 2 years ago....but not this year! On to the top!

Here at the top, the view is fabulous (and it was hot after the climb...I'm cooling off in this pic:

It was a beautiful day and I love sitting up there and just enjoying the view and listening to the silence...no cars, engine sounds of any kind, no people, etc. Fabulous. You can see Santa Fe and Albuquerque from there. (The white on the mountains in the distance is the ski area at Santa Fe where we skied the day before):

The mountain in the background in this one is Sandia near Albuqurque:

You can also get a good view of the tent rocks and the canyon climbed on the way up:

I really love the high desert. It has a beauty that is ever changing and never looks the same. The pictures don't do it justice, but hopefully can give an idea of the attraction of this area of the country.

It was very gratifying to be able to enjoy this day as I wanted to...to be healthy and fit enough to make the hike and climb without any problem. The elevation at the car park is 5500 ft and 6400 ft at the top (according to my Garmin watch). Later that same day we hiked another 8 miles or so across the mesas....just because!
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