4-27-13 Hike to Jordan Hot Springs
The Gila Wilderness is dotted with more than 1000 archeological sites and numerous hot springs. Today one of my coworkers, Eddie Clark, and I decided to hike an approximate 14 mile round trip hike to the Jordan Hot Springs.
The day started out with a real surprise as I saw a BIG black object (probably animal) in the roadway way up ahead of my car. I got the camera ready and was surprised to see Mr, Turkey strutting his stuff in the roadway. I imagine there must have been a potential Mrs. Turkey somewhere nearby! Honestly, except in grade school when we color turkey pictures at Thanksgiving I have never seen a real turkey in full regalia! I’ve got great video of the turkey and other surprises below, so I hope someday friends can enjoy the videos, too.
The trails are marked by gashes like these in some of the trees as well as cairns. Along the way there were violets and other flowers in bloom. There was also the usual assortment of little lizards, but the red tailed lizard pictured below was especially eye-catching.
We were pretty sure we should have found the springs by the time I was ready to have my peanut butter and jelly tortilla, but we still had not found them. So while I ate lunch Eddie forged ahead and followed a little tiny warm trickle that he found coming from up the hill in the woods. He came back and led me to the lovely hot springs! The 90 degree water trickled into an amazingly clear pool. The first pool had been dammed up by people long ago and the water overflowed into a second smaller pool before wending its way down to the creek.
I lounged around in the warm water for quite a while. One had to be careful, though, because the many small rocks lining the bottom of the pool were very sharp – mostly calcite from years of water coming from their subterranean origins.
We also spent about a half an hour trying to get a good picture of this huge (about 3-4” long), russet colored dragonfly. Somehow the camera could not focus on him no matter how hard I tried. This is the best of dozens of photos and the only one that is suitable to show.
On the way back down through Little Bear Canyon we got an even bigger, not so pleasant surprise. We were busy enjoying the beautiful rocky canyon views when we were surprised by a very loud buzz, much like the buzz of a cicada at point blank range. Fortunately for us, the nature of this Northern Black Tailed Rattlesnake is to warn and retreat. He was a mere 5-6 feet from us in the oak leaves when he told us clearly that he was not pleased with our presence and sought shelter up further in a rocky area.
The rest of the trip back was full of magnificent scenery, cacti way up high on a canyon ledge, and some spine-y, well camouflaged lizards that I had not seen in my travels. They were only about 2” long and very cute, don’t you agree? In the first picture he is so well hidden that you probably cannot see him, then I zoom in on him. the 3rd lizard picture is one missing its tail – perhaps a roadrunner snagged it?? Finally, one of my favorite woodland photos of a shrub in bloom. . .
May 1, 2013
Today is a “catch-up” day. So far Eddie and I are the only volunteers who have the same days off so we went to Silver City yesterday to explore the shopping opportunities. Route 15 to Silver City certainly lives up to its reputation: 18 miles of 25-35 mph twists and turns, narrow road with no center line stripe! When I was planning to come up here anyone who knew I was driving a motor home always emphasized 3 times: Do Not, Do Not, Do Not drive up 15 from Silver City!! Now I know why.
In Silver City there are many local artists, a great organic foods store (with steep prices, too), and a very nice WalMart. One of the best purchases I’ve made to date are little suction cup hangars for a hummingbird feeder and block of woodpecker food. Zuni is busy all day long stalking and pouncing without killing any of the birdies!
One last “required” photo before I go off to “catch up” on washing, blogging, and preparing my version of the cliff dwelling tour: