Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the Beach

Napping on the way.

Almost there after getting lost for an hour.

Digging a hole.

Sitting in hole.

Getting tickled.


Chasing butterflies.

Contemplating life.

Collecting water.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Running Down Dunes

These were taken on the shore of Lake Michigan in Grand Mere State Park (one of only two beaches in Michigan where dogs are allowed!). What fun.

Climbing up.

Brian. Our role model.

Testing the slope.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post-ESA Fun

After the conference ended we said a sad farewell to Grandma Messy and Rachel and headed back to New Mexico via Las Cruces. After a long day in the car, riddled with pleas from Abby to stop at the gas station so she could squeeze out three drops of pea, we arrived in Las Cruces to the welcome of Paco, the cutest little one-eyed dog in existence, and Dennis' parents, two very welcoming and generous folks. Abby and I were both sick with a nasty cold at that point, so the two of us headed to bed early, but in the morning we enjoyed a full pancake, bacon, and eggs breakfast and a dip in the pool. Then we headed up to Albequerque, where we picked Alex up from the airport after a delicious lunch (and refreshments) at Chama River Brewing Company. That night we ate dinner and relaxed around a backyard fire.

Zoning out.

The fire.


The next day we headed into the hills for a "little hiking." I put it in quotation marks, because I've become accustomed to flat lands of Michigan and thus, what used to qualify as a "little hiking" is now actually a lung-searing, leg-burning, feat of super-human prowess.

Map of where we went. (Penasco at the top, Truchas peak at bottom)

Elevation profile.

For comparison: the hardest, hilliest route I have run in Ann arbor.

Please note:

A) the beginning elevation in Ann Arbor is 950 ft and the beginning elevation in NM is 9,200 ft
B) the (generously calculated) maximum elevation gain in Ann Arbor is 200 ft and the elevation gain in NM is 2,000 ft.

Suffice it to say that I was out of breath, dizzy, and sweating profusely after about a half mile. It didn't let up over the next 4.5 miles. The lack of oxygen combined with the surroundings, however, were elating!

The woods.

The company.

Mossy trees.

Intrepid explorers.



At the top of the trail there was a lovely little pond and a beautiful backdrop for a picnic.

The pond.

While we ate lunch, we noticed someone robbing a campsite across the pond. The someone happened to be four-legged and had a nice set of horns on his head. Olivia managed to sneak up really close and get some even better photos (featured on her blog).

The camp robber.

It was a wonderful day, and ended with more good food and relaxing around the backyard fire.

The next and last day of our stay we drove up the Rio Grande and around to Taos, a little touristy town in nowhere NM. Along the way we crossed over this bridge. Its name escapes me, but it's really high.

The bridge.

The view.

Taking in the view.

For lack of a wittier, better ending, what a wonderful vacation!