Thursday, December 06, 2018

28 June 2018 Walking Around the Compound

When I am in Mexico for business, I usually stay in a large compound with three hotels and a handful of restaurants. I usually spend time in the courtyard area of my hotel, but I was restless this evening. Wandering along the edge of the property I was able to spot a white-winged dove and a purple finch feasting on the sunflowers.

Years ago the chicken tax ended the import of smaller trucks into the US. Small trucks of all brands faded from our roads. They are still quite popular in Mexico. The Fiat Strada Adventure is one of the forbidden fruits.

The Ranger is returning to the US. It dwarfs the Starda, but will still be a reasonable size alternative to Detroit's overgrown truck offerings.

They haven't been made for a long time, but Mexico still has a number of Volkswagon Beatles in use. This one at a nearby restaurant was in nice shape

24 June 2018 Parque Ecologico Chipinque

I was off to Monterrey for a week at the Mexico office. I flew on Sunday and was eager for a hike. As the jet approached the pollution was really evident.

We decided to revisit and take a more strenuous path today to enjoy the longer daylight hours. When we reached the park and started our walk to hiking, the haze clealy hung over the city.

Seat used to be an uncommon car brand in Monterrey. The company seems to have focused on selling in the area and been quite successful. It's hard to resist images of a different car find. The Ibiza is a new car for Seat with this being my first seen on the road. This hatch design is out of favor in the truck happy states, but remains my idea of a fun, practical car.

We were headed to the old ruins area to start our real ascent. Along the way we were treated a wonderful blue butterfly.

We also saw a couple new for me birds. We spotted a few elegant trogans along a short stretch of trail.

This solitary painted redstart was much more elusive in the trees.

We made a stop at the old ruins before continuing our ascent.

A family was at the ruins with a photographer taking images for their daughter's quinceaƱera so we limited our visit and restarted our climb.

The day got a lot clearer as we climbed.

There is a geocache listing which is supposedly inside the mine entrance. A fresh lock on the gate of the mine appears to have closed off access to the cache. We tried reached inside and felt around the door frame, but were unable to either feel the container or spot it. It was time to hike on.

There are few flowers on most trails. This white blossom with no visible leaves was an exception. It was common in one area.

The highest ridge and peak were beyond our available time. They require advance permission and more planning. They do offer awesome views.

When we returned back to parking, we were treated to an old VW Kombi in great shape. It's fun to see one of these on the road doing what they were built to do. I can't imagine how long it took this 61 year-old vehicle to climb the lower portion to these roads to reach parking.

Friday, November 30, 2018

23 June 2018 Chair Factory Falls

Our afternoon was a caching walk along a greenway trail with the dogs. The caching was disappointing, but we spotted goldfinches and visited Chair Factory Falls. The name is odd, but the view is wonderful, especially when rain has recharged the stream.

Congratulations for practicing your 'hold my beer moment.' Jumping from the top of fast, tall falls is a great way to go viral for stupidity. This afternoon there were three people jumping off the falls.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

20 June 2018 Antoine Peak

I was near Antoine Peak and decided to spend my last evening before travelling home at this park. Antoine Peak is hilly and always seems hotter than the other hiking options. That's a good combination for me. The trails were scenic this evening.

Sometimes I am still surprised about what can be found here. I have passed this spot on the trail many times and not seen any evidence of an old car here. There must be one nearby.

You'll never know what to expect or what you may find on one of Spokane's many trails. After the door art, I spotted a few flowers in bloom before getting serious about the trail.

I decided to head for a trio of geocaches including an APE cache tribute which was only a few days from one year since the last find.

The trio of caches wasn't going to happen. I chased after one only to find the trail no longer existed and was blocked by some blow-down. I backed my way out and went for the APE tribute. The views as I neared were very nice.

Once I got within about 800 feet all evidence of a trail disappeared. There was a little trace of a footpath leading down to the cache.

That faint path soon gave way to heavy, impenetrable growth

and a maze of downed limbs.

I eventually made the find, and started to make my way out of the growth and back.

Unfortunately, I had chewed up a lot of time on the hunt. I didn't need any reminders of the presence of cougars in this park, but spotted the remains of a deer to provide motivation to keep moving.

I made a spirited trip back and arrived at parking just as the last sun slipped away.

19 June 2018 Liberty Lake

I was back for another visit to Liberty Lake with hopefully an avenged DNF from a prior visit. This evening started with a new bird sighting. I had just left the parking lot and started on the trail when I spotted a violet-green swallow. It was a new bird sighting for me. Luckily, it was unbothered by my many attempts to capture a clean image.

It was definitely bird night as I spotted multiple woodpeckers as I approached the location of my prior unfound caache. I was able to capture a few images of the male and female pair as I worked to find the cache I missed on my last visit.

I had veered off the main trail for another cache find and was returning to the main trail when I spotted an osprey perched just off the trail. It was my evening for bird sightings.

Sometimes the lure of something is better than the reality. Who knows if that is true for floatplanes, but they have my attention whenever I see one. This one passed over the trail on the way to a landing on Liberty Lake.

The lupines were not as plentiful here as in Pend Oreille, but they were still a pleasant sight as were the park's other wildflowers.

Despite the late sunset I wasn't able to reach as deep in the trail as I hoped. I did manage to spot a nice stream on my journey. The rest of the trail and the much longer hike to Mica Peak will need to wait for a Sunday visit.