Orienteering race (Brown) 1:13:21*** 4.92 km (14:54 / km) +60m14:03 / km ahr:133 max:159 spiked:10/12c shoes: 2022 VJ Falcon 6.5. GA
First day of Southwest Spring Week, classic courses at Catalina State Park, starting from the parking area at the east end of the park road, about a km from parking/assembly. But I didn't have to do the walk to start as I was volunteering, working first shift on starts, with a TSN volunteer, Sue Wenberg, and we driven there. Glen went out on his Green course early, then after finishing returned to the start area to relieve me so I could do my course (Brown, 3.9 km, 50 m climb nominal). He then drove the rental car back to finish/assembly. It was upper 50s when we arrived, but in the 60s or near 70 by the time I went out...short sleeve weather!
My work at start was to write down when each person/group started, so was able to chat with Kevin Fisher and Sue H-T (at separate times) about them meeting each other at some point to get acquainted and discuss EMPO since Kevin and Syd just moved to the Niskayuna area. Said hi to a lot of other orienteers I know.
Most of the course went well, and I avoided as much cactus as I could but still caught a thorn in a finger at some point which bled for a little while. Had a few other snags but nothing that drew much blood. :-)
Got my feet wet(!) in the stream crossing (which has always been dry other times we've been here) on the way to #1. I missed a little on #4 when I checked a large boulder nearby; and had trouble fathoming where to go to get to #8 but eventually convinced myself I *did* have to drop 2.5 contours into a rocky reentrant and then climb back up 2 on the other side to get where I needed to go. But after I finally got down three contours the rest was straightforward and mostly flat. A lot of my controls had people at or near them so were easy to find once I was in the area. I had forgotten to take my hiking pole but won't make that mistake the other days.
Left Carlsbad at 9:15am, arrived Tucson around 6:00pm; 1/2 hour stop for lunch in El Paso, and a few pit stops plus a fill-up in Benson, AZ (because the light had come on and gas is more expensive in Tucson). We were in three states today. :-) We had dinner at a place we'd eaten before, Trident Grill on Speedway.
Our AirBnb is ... interesting. It should work for the week though. Pretty quiet neighborhood; around the corner from a Starbucks we've patronized in past visits.
Hiking3:51:55 12.14 km (19:06 / km) +105m18:19 / km ahr:97 max:141 shoes: Keen RidgeFlex M7W 2021
Hiked up McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains NP as far as The Grotto, where we ate sandwiches we had packed. Took a side trip to see the Pratt Cabin on the way, a stone/masonry building (walls and roof; very little wood) near where the washes of the north and south canyons join. Not far beyond the Grotto was another stone cabin. Most of the trail stayed in the sun despite us being in a canyon. Ridges towered over us 1000' or more.
Temps were in the low 30s when we started but it was sunny and not very breezy, a stark contrast to the past two days. Warmed up to mid 40s by the time we returned to the car. We dressed properly and had plenty of water.
We saw 4 people coming in the opposite direction on the way out to the Grotto (including a couple who were possibly 10 years older than us), and 9 others on the way back plus a younger woman who passed us when we stopped near one of the 10 stream-bed/wash crossings to look at some birds. Only two of the crossings had any water; one of these had enough water that we crossed on stepping stones. Birds we saw were a number of Townsend's solitaire and robins, plus a western scrub jay or two and a couple other not-yet-identified birds.
Walking8:35 0.34 km (24:53 / km) ahr:94 max:119 shoes: Keen RidgeFlex M7W 2021
Carlsbad Caverns, from the Visitors Center to the Natural Entrance.
We did most of the underground trails in the caverns (all paved, no stairs) including the Big Room, then exited via the elevator. There were a few ups but it was largely a downhill walk. Highly recommend! No bats, but we did see a number of cave features including the Rock of Ages and the Caveman. :-)
Hiking13:01 0.75 km (17:20 / km) +5m16:46 / km ahr:110 max:126 shoes: Keen RidgeFlex M7W 2021
Stopped at the Walnut Canyon overlook where it was very windy, and hiked a bit along the edge where there was a use trail, then returned to the car. Not very photogenic today. About 50F and very strong wind gusts so it felt colder.
EDIT: The track appears to be bogus as we started the same place we finished. Maybe the watch hadn't caught enough satellites? EDIT2: See Glen's log for a better track plus a capture of the other side trail we walked on (below).
We also did a short hike farther down the canyon on the road leaving the park, to a cave/overhang along what would be a raging river in monsoon conditions. Saw some birds flitting around some of the shrubs but didn't get a pic so I'm not sure what they were. Maybe sparrows.
The BBQ place recommended by the desk agent at the motel was closed so we found another one up the road. Food was adequate, decor was "Texas log cabin" with stuffed heads, a jackalope, bear, turkey, ranch implements, etc.
Hiking2:00:08 4.26 km (28:12 / km) +127m24:33 / km ahr:108 max:154 shoes: Keen RidgeFlex M7W 2021
Smith Spring Trail in Guadalupe Mountains NP from Frijole Ranch parking area. Temp in the upper 40s and breezy but tolerable with the sun hitting us most of the time. The trail was somewhat rocky with some larger steps up or down to navigate, so I was glad I had a hiking pole along for those parts. Smith Spring was very scenic with lots of trees around. Nice views of the "reef" above us to the north, and the plains to the south.
AOWN: A dozen or more robins, a hermit thrush, a possibly leucistic sparrow, and a couple of unidentified gray birds.
This was one of the very windy days we expect this week; the news on in the restaurant where we had dinner (Rosy's Mexican in Carlsbad) talked about several power poles being broken by the wind (we saw one being repaired as we drove into town), and a tractor-trailer turned on its side on the highway.