09-08-2008: Sugarite Canyon
We left Clayton Lake State Park this morning and headed to Sugarite Canyon State Park. Sugarite is nice, but not quite as nice as Clayton Lake. We are at a pretty high elevation here about 8,000 ft. Today we took a little hike up to the rim of the canyon, it was only about 3/4 of a mile one way, but fairly steep and since we’ve been living at sea level for over a year we could definitely feel the elevation on our lungs. It is so amazing to go hiking...really hiking, gaining and losing elevation. In Florida we went on a lot of walks, but we weren't hiking in the sense that we're used to. I can't believe we are here and doing all the activities we haven't been able to do for so long.
At the rim we had a nice view of the canyon and the surrounding grassy plains. Dusty had a great time running around at the top, lots of good smells up there. It’s nice to see some familiar plants, wax currant (Ribes cereum), pinyon pine (Pinus edulis), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) and a whole bunch of beautiful gamble oaks (Quercus gambelii). They also have the New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana) with mean thorns that are characteristic of Locusts. There are a lot of pretty little Asters around too, all purple, yellow and white. I'm so glad we're finally getting into the Mountain lands. It’s awesome to see such great variations in elevation it is unbelievable how flat Florida is. It’s so quiet here, it almost hurts my ears. Mmmmm, so nice, loving life. I hope we can keep this going!