I love the outdoors.  There is nothing better than getting outside, enjoying fresh air, and exploring nature.  While I have the Beartooth Mountains here in my backyard, not all of my explorations take place here.  Sometimes, they are further away than many people might even expect.  You see, my friend Justin lives in El Paso, Texas.  Every year I go down to visit him; then we head off on a grand adventure.  Since there is not a whole lot to do in Texas near El Paso, we generally go into New Mexico and explore the mountains in that state.  This past Labor Day 2013, we headed into the Sierra Blanca range for a nice hike along the Three Rivers trail.

 

If you know anything about the area, you know that it is dry and hot.  It’s a desert after all.  So while the flatlands are miserable and living conditions are terrible (although as can be seen by the petroglyphs people have been making their home in the area for thousands of years), the mountains rise up and the climate rapidly changes.  Driving into the Three Rivers Valley you come out the desert.  The trailhead, where our campground was located, is at the foothills of the mountains.  Still hot, but the juniper trees are rising up.  Just a few miles away there is nothing but sage and yucca plants.  Where we spent the night there were plenty of 20 foot tall alligator junipers, as well as running water a mere quarter mile from where we pitched our tent.  After a night around the fire burning dead yucca stalks and fighting off tarantulas (ok there was only one and he only came out of his hole once; still gross) we turned in.  Rising early, we started our hike into the White Mountain Wilderness.

 

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