Buckman Mesa with Samantha

So, finally I did the Buckman Mesa hike. I did not have to go alone. I had an excellent hiking companion, my neighbor’s dog Sammie. We bonded on this hike and are now the best of buddies. I wonder if she will go back to her owners when they return in a few days? (She will probably be overjoyed to see them.)buckman2

Buckman Mesa with Otowi Peak to the left. It looks mystical and alluring from below.buckman3

A quick and steady hike to the top. The obligatory selfie. View to the south-west, Rio Grande snaking through the landscape below. Cold and windy. No lunch here.buckman4

Sammie taking a moment of reflection. Sure footed and a great hiker. She will keep me busy and get me in good shape by the time I return her to her owners.buckman5

View to the north, Black Mesa and San Ildefonso Indian Reservation.buckman6

On the way back we hiked near the rim. Vertical walls of the mesa, better play it safe. The Jemez Mountains and Los Alamos (where the atom bomb was invented) in the background. Rio Grande below.buckman7

Sometimes it is necessary to stop and look down at the wonders you might step on.buckman8

Almost ready to descend the mesa. The Sangre de Christo mountains in the background. Santa Fe is at the foot of those mountains. The snow covered peaks are about 12 000 feet high (4000 m). Good skiing up there.buckman9

Back at the bottom. Sammie is exploring the canyon walled arroyo. These walls are very soft, basically sand that has collected over the ages when the river has transported sediment as it has cut it’s way deeper and deeper into the landscapes. An arroyo like this is basically a dry river that can suddenly become very dangerous if a flash flood comes rushing, as a result of heavy rains far away.buckman10

Almost back at the car after just under three hours of hiking. The southern tip of Buckman Mesa towering behind us. A very nice experience.