Monday, April 13, 2009

White Sands March 25th-26th

Finally we had arrived. It is such a beautiful surreal place, and the dogs absolutely loved it. We took tons of pictures, so enjoy...

Dunes and mountains

Wind swept gypsum white sand, so soft and cool to the touch, and doesn't even grit in the teeth

Baxter was ready to go wandering

There isn't a campground in white sands. The only way you're allowed to spend the night is if you backpack in. Our site was 0.9 miles in, but the dogs probably went more like 5 miles going up and down and all over the dunes.

Silhouette of Goonie-pie (just a word of warning at least half of the pictures are of the dogs)

and Bax "lone-ranger" max wanders on...


The dogs were a little excited, even grandpa Baxter, who can get a little grumpy when it's close to bed time

Mary, Michael, and Goonie enjoying a sunset dune jump

Good Morning, sunrise from the tent. Goonie did great in our little 2 person tent. I think it was a good thing he had worn himself out so much.

Morning Dunes

Long shadowed dogs

The view of camp from our dune

Pretty dunes- the early morning was one of the best times, before the wind picked up. The wind blowing all that sand around hurt, and we all had to wear sunglasses just to keep the sand out of our eyes.

and on...

The dogs playing in the sand

Us playing in the sand

Michael takes credit for getting the picture, I take credit for being the only one brave enough to try a flip

It's a love pounce right?



Little Emilie, big shadow

Clever comments...? Anyone?

It was a little on the windy side for ol' gramps


Frisbee in the dunes

Did the lone ranger finally find a place to settle down? Tune in next tim to see if Bax Max wanders on

Bird...plane...mighty ninja Emilie

and thats all I have to say about that

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White Mesa and Box Canyon March 15th - 20th

After an uneventful drive from St. Louis, Baxter and I made it safely to White Mesa, NM.

Baxter wasted no time getting down to business, as he hopped right out of the driver’s window when he saw Michael. He hardly had any time to greet him, though, as Goonie came bounding over, too.

After lots of sniffs, tail wags, and a few snarls, they were officially introduced and Baxter took to wandering. Bax-“Lone Ranger”-Max took it upon himself to round up the horses before heading out on a hike with his new, sometimes annoying, little brother Goonie.

Emilie and Goonie

Neat tree on a hike

Brothers on their morning hike

We stayed there just one night before a morning hike and heading out to The Box Canyon near Socorro, NM.

We got into The Box late on the 16th and started climbing the following morning.

A group of 6thgraders were climbing on the closest area, so we hiked a few minutes to a nice wall and climbed there for the afternoon. We met a local climber who told us about all the other climbs in the area, so we spent the next afternoon at Major Wall climbing.

On the 19th we climbed on the top rope wall and finished up the morning of the 20th. After meeting lots of friendly climbers who suggested places to go, we decided on the Enchanted Tower next and we were off...

Enchanted Tower March 20th-24th

The Enchanted Tower area, was about 60 miles west of Box Canyon, and not really on the way to anywhere. But we were really glad we decided to check it out. It is definitely one of the top climbing places we have been to, and I think might be the most scenic one yet. Great scenery, free camping, good people, and really fun climbing.

The Tower from camp

Bax "lone ranger" Max wanders on...

Michael climbing on mother goose wall
Mary doing her first clean- it's really scary to untie yourself up there

Goonie is wondering what she is up to

I'm about to head up the tower on a 5.11, the hardest climb we've tried so far

Goonie taking himself for a walk

A dog's eye view- that's little Emilie on the top

It was a really fun climb, definitely challenging, but very rewarding too.

Mary on top of the tower

She survived, and apparently is rather excited

Michael on his way up

Michael on his way down

I got to go up one more time to get all our gear back, I was pretty darn tired by the end

On the way down- I was trying to be cool like Michael, but didn't quite have the courage to flip all the way upside down.

Goonie being a cutie-pie

On a climb called ooey-gooey, it was hard to hang on because it was so overhung

Back at camp

After 3 hard days of climbing we decided to move on. Our decision was made even easier to when we woke up on the 4th day and it was barely over 30 degrees. Mary's poor hands nearly fell off taking down her tent.

We headed back into Socorro for some library time and spent the night in Box Canyon again. This time we were not the only campers. There was another very friendly talkative older lady named Vicki who was camping out of her van with her 12 year old dog. She told us that she would keep an eye out for any problems, and if she saw anything she would honk the horn 3 times, if it was once, she just bumped it.

Thankfully no honks awoke us, and after a long discussion with Vicki about...well just about everything the next morning, we were headed towards white sands.