Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ghost Ranch

Sarah woke up early this morning and went to her hot yoga class.  For those who don't know, it is like a regular yoga class, but they keep the room at a balmy 105 degrees.  So I had the kid wrangling duty for the morning.  She got back around 1030 and I got ready for my run.  I did just shy of 4 miles and set a personal best on my 5k time.  Woohooo!

Then Russ showed up around 1230.  We farted around for awhile deciding what to do and then packed up and headed out to the Ghost Ranch.  The Ghost Ranch was initially a dude ranch that served the wealthier denizens of the Los Angeles area.  It was successful enough, but was eventually bought by noted artist Georgia O'keefe.  Now it is a resort, artist retreat, museum and all around multi-use property.  It is also gorgeous.

We arrived and started poking around.  Of course we had the vague plan of hiking one of the more well known trails around the property, but weren't sure which one.  We decided on the Chimney Rock trail since it was the most distinct feature we had seen.  On the way we were distracted by a museum with displays of archaeology and anthropology.  Many fossils have been found in the area and Michael was just itching to go look.  After that stop, we hiked.  The Chimney Rock trail hikes around 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 650-ish feet.

We knew it was going to be pretty when we started taking pictures on the drive in. 

Still a few miles away from the entrance.  It looks like the rock is melting away.  I guess it is, but very slowly.

Our first stop was the anthropology/paleontology museum.

Michael was right at home.

The view from the front porch of the visitor's center.

Finally out on the trail.  Guess which one is Chimney Rock.

Right away the climbing starts.  The kids were not happy.

Max found some happy though, in the form of Mommy's hiking hat.
Just trying to be artsy again.  Never works quite like I imagine. 

A closer view of the formation.
Max was getting hot. 

Some formations in a canyon we passed.  The kids kept yelling weird things just to hear the echo. I, of course, was silent and reserved and in no way experimented to see if fart noises would echo.
Eventually we gained the top of the mesa.  Chimney Rock looks a lot different from up here.

Michael and Max serenely enjoying the view.
For about a nanosecond. 

Wow, those sides are steep.

Breathe Mom, we didn't let him fall.

Russ took a look too.

Again Mom, notice how I am firmly holding his hand. Besides, the drop wasn't steep there.

Safely away from the edge.
My turn.

Mommy decided this as far enough for her picture.

The view from the top is worth it. 

The long hike home.

We amused ourselves on the way down with the idea that this mesa was an erupting volcano. 
It was a fun hike and beautiful day.  If you go, bring plenty of water.  Start early and you could hike all three main trails in a day I bet. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Survivor: New Mexico

I have been slacking lately with the posting.  Sorry about that. 

Hey, I'm a busy guy, got lots going on.  So what better way to appease the masses than with pictures. 

We took the kids to Rancho de los Golondrinas.  This is a nearby historical ranch preserved as it worked back in the 1800's.  They run frequent educational and edutainment programs.  This weekend was themed around how settlers survived in such harsh environments.  We thought the kids would love it, so we went. 

And saw a wolf.
 The wolf was from another wildlife program nearby.  Her name is Flurry. 

Not sure if survival gear or not.

Not survival, but useful. 

The sign on the ground reads:  "Beware.  Troll's Abode."

Of course you have to take a look.

Finally, survival gear.  They taught Michael how to make a survival bow.  But not how to shoot it

Daddy probably needs lessons too.
There was another wildlife sanctuary represented.  Guess what they dealt with.

Oddly, the boys weren't too impressed with the birds while this awesome tree was just lying around.

What'cha doin' Daddy?  Trying to take an artsy picture, goofball.

Better with the kids in it.

WE moved on to the old ranch dwellings.  The adobe keeps everything nice and cool. 

Michael wondered, "How did sleeping beauty manage to prick a finger on one of these things?" 

One lady making blankets from wool from the sheep on the ranch. 

More survival stuff.  Food storage and dehydration!

Now we are talkin'!

The quest for fire begins...

Although it took a few tries, we got fire. 

Next up was a quick black powder weapons demonstration.  The kids sat through it.

As the lecture went on, the kids asked to go back to fire-making. 

It was a fun and educational day and only about 4 miles from our house.  Pretty cool huh. 

Then, later that day, Rainbows.