Climbing Sugarite Canyon: Part 2

September 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm

I love the state motto for New Mexico: Land of Enchantment. You just can’t walk around the desert and mountains in this place and not feel some kind of mystical connection with the land, the sky, and the ancient Native Americans that also walked through these mountains. Maybe it’s the low population density, or the beautiful mesas and desert rock formations. Whatever it is, every time we visit the state, I feel like I’ve gone someplace beautiful and remote, a wild and exotic land, that is barely part of the world I live in every day.

Sunrise at Sugarite

I woke up early and energized on Sunday morning. Mark and I had to leave by noon to make a Sunday evening commitment, but nobody was stirring when Liv and I set out on the trail. Even though the sky was deeply overcast, I took the dog and hiked up to the top of the mesa we had been climbing on the day before, in the hopes of getting some pictures of the sun rising over the canyon, or the desert beyond.

A distant desert beyond the morning clouds

The trail to the top edge of the mesa was about 2 miles long, and probably took Liv and I about an hour to do. The clouds were breaking up as I reached the edge, and the sun had long since risen. There were no incredible sunrise pictures for me that morning, and judging by the moist, cool breeze coming over the the mesa, there would be no climbing before we had to leave at noon either. But it was really nice to sit on the edge of the cliff, in the quiet desert morning, and watch the clouds slowly roll over the canyon and lands far beyond.

The day gets sunny and beautiful as we leave the canyon

Eventually, I left my little perch and hiked back down to camp. The rest of the gang were hanging out in Dylan and Ann’s camper, drinking lots of coffee, making biscuits for breakfast and doing crosswords. I really suck at crosswords. Evidently, “creative spelling techniques” are not part of the challenge of the puzzles.

The clouds slowly burnt off, and Dylan and Ann decided to head up the hill for another day of climbing. Mark and I packed up camp and reluctantly headed home to our normal lives. It was a very nice, if too short, weekend away from reality.