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Old 06-28-2015, 02:49 PM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 52,539

I don't know what plant this is, but it was growing everywhere up there. I want to plant it along my fence line to use as a hedge, since I know it will grow at altitude --

These signs are place in random locations along the road. I got a kick out of them.

The road came out right at the Valles Caldera. I thought I could drive through the preserve to another forest road, but they told me at the visitor's center the gates were locked, and that I could not take my dogs into the back country of the preserve.

So, we went up NM4 past Fenton Lake to Forest Road 378. My plan was to follow it to Forest Road 144, then travel north to see where that went.

It was around 4 p.m., so I decided to set up a camp. There was a lot of thunder in the distance, and it started moving toward us. I've been in mountain storms before, and they usually pass quickly. I figured if I got the tent set up, we could wait out the inevitable rain shower in the vehicle.

But then, as I was staking the tent, I smacked in the back of the neck by a 1" hail stone. The pain made me swear loudly. How far had that fallen from the sky? It hurt like hell!

I had just bought this tent at Kmart for $25, on sale, the day before. I didn't want to haul my big canvas tent around for a little overnighter.

And it hailed.

When it turned to mostly rain, I took the tent down. I wasn't going to be miserable all night long in the cold and wet. Wife's shoulder said it was going to be a long, cold, wet night. Yeah, I wussed out. I could have toughed it out and built a fire out of wet wood, etc. and tested my survival skills. But, I didn't.

It didn't hail everywhere in the canyon. Note the steam/cloud in the trees.

Some places got it worse than we did. This is on the blacktop highway just off the forest road entrance. There were some places with 2" of hail.

I didn't get pictures of the flash floods running over the road, on the way home. The water was still low enough, trucks were driving through it. I did see a swiftwater rescue vehicle, towing kayaks, heading up where I came from as I got closer to Albuquerque. It rained all the way home, and did not let up until early this morning.
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