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Friday, October 20, 2017

Adventures in Las Cruces Week—Hiking at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

After peering up at the 9,000-foot high Organ Mountains all week, it was great to finally see it up close. Brenda Gallegos from the Friends of Organ Mountains was my guide for the morning as we first made our way to the trailhead for the 3-mile (round-trip) Bar Canyon trail that leads to the junction of two canyons, Bar and Soledad. Brenda just finished her master’s thesis on the southwestern quail, spending 3 years in west Texas doing research. We climbed a rocky path past numerous sotol plants—yucca-like with a large stem shooting out of the center almost as tall as a saguaro. A peaceful stillness enveloped us as we looked up at the jagged peaks. Soon we were inside a canyon passing prickly pear and cholla cacti. We stopped to see a waterfall trickle down the wall of rock next to level ground that was probably used for sacred ceremonies at one point in time. On our return trip, a red-tailed hawk flew overhead as we looked down at Las Cruces in the valley below. As an encore, Brenda took me on the Dripping Springs Trail to visit La Cuevo, a cave where a hermit once lived in the mid-1800s. About to leave the park, a covey of silver blue scaled quail flew overhead, much to the delight of Brenda. “That made my day,” she said. 

It’s been a wonderful week in Las Cruces, and to be perfectly honest, I hate to leave. I want to thank Chris Faivre at Visit Las Cruces and Peggy Bendel for designing the perfect itinerary. I’ll be back on Monday with my favorite restaurant picks in Las Cruces. In the meantime, I have a high school reunion to attend in Schenectady, New York. Have a great weekend! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/20/17 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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