Bait on a Leash

We went hiking in the Organ Mountains today.  First, we went to the visitor center at the Dripping Springs Natural Area.  The ranger told us that the Bureau of Land Management prohibits dogs on the trails in that area.  The handout states “In the past, several dogs have died at Dripping Springs and La Cueva when allowed to run loose.”  We don’t know how they died.  The ranger suggested an alternative and gave us a list of areas we can walk Dart.

We headed to the Soladad Canyon.  There is a 3 mile loop trail.  Since the weather was nice, we thought we could get the hike in before it got too hot for Dart.  At the beginning of the trail head, this sign was posted.

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Sign at the head of the hiking trail in Soladad Canyon.

Regis was now beginning to feel that walking with Dart was like walking with bait on a leash.  He informed Dart that he was on his own if a cougar showed up.  Poor Dart!

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Cactus bloom in Soladad Canyon.

We got in a nice hike and saw a variety of plants in bloom.  We saw some hummingbirds but couldn’t identify the species.  Half way through the hike, it was clear that Dart needed some shade.  We found one tree to sit under for about 20 minutes to let Dart cool down before we headed back down.

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Soladad Canyon showing some of the plants in bloom.

Walking early in the morning works best in order to beat the heat.  But, the trail sign indicates it can be dangerous to walk at dawn and our experience tells us that is true (especially if you are walking with a small dog).

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Regis and Dart hiking Soladad Canyon with Las Cruces in the background.

Also, on the hike we met two ladies who were looking for a man they had been walking with.  They asked if we saw him.  Based on their description, we had not.  The lady said perhaps he had been taken by aliens.  It reminded me that we are less than 200 miles from Roswell.  She was joking and the missing man showed up while we were talking to the ladies.

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Organ mountains with arrow indicating where we hiked in Soladad Canyon.
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Soladad Canyon with Las Cruces in the background.