Takin’ It Easy

Late January and February were pretty tough for me for a bunch of reasons so rather than huffing it up and down the mountains and further exhausting myself Abbs and I spent a couple weekends taking short hikes with Tom instead. These two excursions — and particularly the full weekend we spent in Ruidoso — were physically, mentally, and emotionally rejuvenating. Plus, though Tom and I work on the same jobsite and live together with in a 32′ RV, it seemed like I was so caught up in things going on around me that our time together wasn’t really spent together if you know what I mean.

That all began to change on our first outing up the lower canyons of the Florida Mountains. The trail, which begins at around 5,000 feet, was uncharacteristically warm and sunny on the first Sunday in February and before noon we’d shed our outer layers as we proceeded uphill into the bowl of the rocky canyon. The ease of the walk and the bright sunshine that day definitely lifted my sprits but most of the credit actually goes to having some quality time with my favorite human.

Somewhere past the one mile mark on the old jeep road (which we were walking and definitely NOT driving) formations rise at the north and south points, marking a dramatic entrance into the bowl and the unveiling of the surrounding pointed peaks. As you pass below these sentinels the feeling of insignificance briefly takes over but emerging into the upsloped bottomlands of the canyon it once again feels as spacious as any place in the high desert. We cruised around the flats for awhile pointing out potential routes up to the ridgeline, but stayed true to our goal of having a easy day, declining to ascend any of the major ridges, nevermind the summits. This of course meant we forewent any chance of spotting the elusive ibex, but there’ll always be next time.

And then it was our anniversary weekend. To celebrate 5 years together, Tom booked us an overnight in the mountain town of Ruidoso where we indulged in a couple easy walks at Cedar Creek and Grindstone Lake with some all-important brewery breaks in between. Though daytime temperatures were a bit chilly we hiked under full sun both days and even managed to have a couple patio beers at our beloved Lost Hiker Brewing Company. Can I just say how much I love these southern mountains where even winter sun is warm?? This was definitely a stellar two days, and a perfect way to spend our anniversary together.