About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I spend countless hours running in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, TX. I call it "going to church". I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Aguirre Springs Scamper

A 4:30 am wakeup starts the day, because I want to see the sun rise in the Organ Mountains. Lucy, Sierra, and Taz are my running companions today as we head to Aguirre Springs on the East side of the Organ Mountains. The Organs are in New Mexico just east of Las Cruces and are a jagged range with formations called the needles.

When we arrive on the East side, the BLM park gate isn’t even open yet, but that is OK because all I want to do is get some pictures of the sun glowing on the rock face. I can’t believe there is still snow on the peaks. The wind is blowing and is supposed to pick up later. In fact, the mountain pass road is going to be closed at noon because of it.

After taking some pictures we wait for the park to open. My dogs are getting anxious to start our run. They don’t understand why we are just sitting here, but finally we are able to proceed to the Baylor Pass trail head. This is one of two national recreation trails in the camping area; the other being the Pine Tree Trail, a four mile loop with views of the needles. When we arrive, my canine friends are so wound up that I can barely keep them under control while I get my camelbak on. I make them wait in the bed of my truck while I get ready.

Finally we are running the beautiful trail on our way to Baylor pass. The trail is pretty smooth with rocks scattered intermittently which makes for good footing. We come to a nice view of the needles. Large smooth boulders are scattered about the area as well as some large trees. One is lifeless with a twisted, gnarled look which gives it character. I take some pictures while the dogs sniff around and then we are off again.

After continuing on, we reach one of the springs which trickles water over the rocks. We are in a high desert, so this seep is a precious water source for wildlife. My friends quench their thirst while I take pictures of some strange looking flowers. I later learn that they are called scrambled eggs (corydalis aurea) because they look like someone tossed their breakfast on top of a green plant. The breeze is starting to pick up, but overall this is a great morning for a mountain run.

More running and we start to ascend the pass. It is getting steeper so I slow down to a brisk walk. We cross over a canyon and another spring. This time it is flowing down a smooth algae covered stone. My dogs decide to explore the slab and find out just how slippery it is. They learn quickly that they are better off staying on the trail. We are now high enough that we can see the Tularosa basin and town of White Sands below. A little further and we reach the pass with views to the West.

The trip down is fun because I can open up my stride and cruise for a while. I almost lose control a few times, but manage to stay upright. After a bit of this we are back to one of the springs where we stop for a quick drink. I notice a few tree lizards sunning themselves on a large boulder. I watch for a while and then continue on down to the campground. We are back before the wind really starts to pick up and everyone had a great ramble in the mountains today. See you on the trail.

The sunrise in the Tularosa Basin


Aguirre Springs

My pack

Sierra sporting her Ruffwear

Scrambled Eggs or Golden Smoke

Later gator...

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