Posts Tagged With: fox


Yesterday, I wanted to return to Oldtown to catch some things I’d missed. The five flags that flew over the city, Mexico, Spain, The Confederacy, The United States and New Mexico. I wanted to visit the Kaleidoscope Store, The Cat House,The Rattlesnake Museum  and The Museum of Art And History-at least their sculpture garden.

It was early, and I poked into enticing courtyards and charming adobe bungalows; took pictures of things I hadn’t come to see and missed some I had come for. The truth is you just can’t take it all in.

Pressed metal, one of three entrances to the sculpture garden at the ABQ Museum of Art and History. I love art and Jim loves history but we were warned that to visit the museum, you pay to park, you can’t take pictures, they take any bags, your purse, your camera and put them in a locker that you pay to rent. They tell you there is a camera in every room watching you and  docent’s watching so you do not take pictures. If caught, you will be asked to leave. We didn’t take pictures at other museums in town when asked not to. Incredibly, I’ve visited the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, The New York Metropolitan, Smithsonian, J Paul Getty and major museums in San Francisco and Boston.   All before digital cameras. All allowed pictures. What great treasures are  they are trying to protect from the camera eye?  We opted not to go. The Museum had three gated entrances. I loved the gates.

These brushed steel panels are part of one gate.

And one sculpture that I couldn’t stay away from.

I was riveted by her clothes, jewelry and intent concentration on her task.

And her overflowing purse.

The varied tile walkways were also worth seeing.

The Cat lady loves cats, as I do. And I enjoyed seeing her merchandise. Everyone is so friendly. One shopkeeper, left her store and walked me down the block and pointed out where her store was located in this  little plaza.

We moved on to the Rio Grand Nature Center State Park. After days in the noise of the city, the park was  a pleasure. The long narrow area next to the Rio Grand River has biking and hiking trails. We took a short, less than a mile, hike.

A couple of bikers told us they’d seen a fox. We saw turtles, ducks, ants, bees , birds and this lively rabbit sculpture.

I had never seen a pollinator habitat.  These scrubby bushes appear to have little sustenance to them, but the Rio Grande Park is a great buffer for critters next to this big city, and every plant and flower  is important to something.

From there, we revisited the last section of Route 66 just outside of the city.  Jim particularly wanted to see this old bridge, the Rio Puerco.  It has a newer bridge on either side of it. And, while there,I found a treasure from New Mexico to put on my totem when I get home, two hubcaps on the side of the road.  Jim thinks I’m nuts. But, I saw him lying on the ground taking a picture of a crack in the cement. I didn’t get my camera out in time.  So, who’s nuts, huh?

I uploaded my pictures if you wish to see them:

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Southern Historic Trail

We’re still parked in the campground at the Painted Rocks Historic Park, northwest of Gila bend, AZ. It’s a unique and pretty place, so we decided to stay over an additional day so that we could do some exploring. See my Blog entry of yesterday by clicking this link…

A portion of a sign here identifies it as the Southern Historic Trail…but it is also known by several different names such as the de Anza, Butterfield Overland Mail Route, the Mormon Battalion Trail and the California 1849 Emigrant Trail because all of these people in addition to many others used this very trail going westward. The trail leads westward to Yuma, Arizona where it was the only place to cross the then mighty Colorado River for 1,200 miles. Many etched their information upon these two piles of rocks as they passed through the area. See yesterday’s blog entry.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Our campsite is about a mere 250 feet from the trail. As all of these folks were heading west…which means they had to come through Painted Pocks Pass about 2.5 miles to the east. The following photo is a pre-sunrise looking right at Painted Rocks Pass…

The below Google Earth image shows the path that Mary and I took yesterday. “X” marks the petroglyphs and our camp site. We were gone 2.5 hours and I guess-timate the distance as 2.5 miles one way…

In three different areas we were sure we could detect wagon trail wheel indentations…remembering that it has been a long time singe a wagon passed this way. But we know for certain that they came over the pass and on a direct sight-line from the petroglyph rocks to the pass…the wheel indentations were right where they should be. The following three photos show these indentations…

We saw evidence of several encampments…broken glass bottles and tin cans…

To see all the other photos I took during our walk, click this link…

To read about the de Anza Trail, click this link…

To read about the Butterfield Overland Mail route, click this link…

To read about the Mormon Battalion Trail, click this link…

Mary and I both thoroughly enjoyed our walk over this very famous trail.

Shortly before sunset, out of the corner of her eye, Mary noticed some movement across the road from our camp site less than 50 feet away. A young fox had crawled out of its hole and was sunning itself. A little later, two more emerged and all three ran off into the bushes in search of supper. Here’s the photo…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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The narrow canyon above is just past the Devils Spine and is the gateway to the Rocky Mountain Crossing on Highway 34.
From Evans, Colorado to Steamboat Springs on Highway 34 and 36 West is a reasonable day’s drive. I drove about 13 miles and I could see Jim was getting nervous so I pulled over short of Estes Park, another 22 miles up the road.  Jim reasoned that the highest road in America, at 12,183 foot elevation,  was not the place for a beginner. And, he was right. I drove the last hour to give him some rest. We stopped short of our goal, both of us tired, at the small town of Kremmling, Colorado.

Estes Park is a tourist destination, a skiing mecca in winter, it attracts backpackers,  mountain stream anglers and bikers. Many rustic and fancy cabins entice people to get-away to the fresh air and fragrant woods. It sits on the edge of the Eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

We have a destination with ‘miles to go before we sleep’ so most of my pictures were taken from the motor home window. This rock formation was beautiful whether the pictures give it credit or not.

The pines have suffered from bark beetle infestation. In fact the park campground on the western slope is completely treeless because all of the trees died and had to be removed. Here you see the many dying, still standing trees. The grey ones are completely dead, the brown ones are on the way.

As you climb higher, the trees become smaller, stunted. In the visitor center it showed trees 100 years old bent and twisted by winds; small from barely sufficient nutrition. They were only two feet tall.

Suddenly you realize you are above tree level, looking down into moonscape canyons. The narrow roads and twists and turns made for some tense driving with a motor home pulling a 4,000 pound “toad”.

This vertical cut right through the rock gave our motors passage and has a beauty of its own.

The park is one of two places in the U.S. that has tuffa.

The road just traveled high on the right. The road we will travel in the center, without the twists as we seem to sit on top of the world.

Now we encounter pockets of snow that do not melt during the summer. We learned from the visitors center those pockets are filled with pure ice and are therefore  mini-glaciers.

Valleys like this, full of color and beauty provide forage and water for wildlife. Antelope, a smaller growing moose than the Canadian and Alaskan herds, deer, weasels, fox, big horned sheep, marmots, chickerees, and other small animals and birds make their home here. Plenty of signs show where to view antelope, but we didn’t see any wildlife as we drove by.

This spot marks the Continental Divide where river water now flows toward the west. It is significant, but, not that you could tell from this spot.

On the way down the Western slope, we had several miles of gravel road and roadwork. Signs promised no wait would exceed 60 minutes.

And, none did. But we sat in this parking lot and another for a lengthy time; enough time to turn off the engine and get out and walk around. Thus, I got pictures of some flora and fauna from the roadside woods. No one seemed upset. The air was fresh, the place restful and beautiful. But, at one point we were so close to a huge paving machine we slid by it within a few inches. I had my head out the window as we crawled by with my window beads clinging to my face, laughing all the way.

Don’t know what these plants are called.

The aspens are just turning color.

Its a beautiful drive. As usual, I took many pictures. If you would like to see them, click the link:

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This little fox had a partner and they both decided to visit my compost bin about 7:00 a.m. this morning. They are quick as shadows and blitzed out of sight whenever they detected a slight movement from the window. I did manage to get this little one before she dashed for the brush, ears alert, listening for danger. I guess I’ll never get beyond the thrill of seeing something wild and beautiful in my yard.

Of course, that includes flowers. These tulips are just opening and stepping into their rightful beauty. Since I have only days left in Murphys before I hit the road again, I can enjoy these lovelies. Along with the bleeding hearts and columbine in the garden.

I’ve had several iris bloom and hopefully I’ll get to see my favorites come out before I leave.

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