Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vacation pictures

I took over 200 pictures, and most of the best ones from the race are in my race report. I thought I'd share a few of the other pics from our time there. Other than just some sight seeing, we went rafting one day. There was a lot of R&R after the race.
Western Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle are BORING. It's so flat that ANYTHING other than a prairie and a straight horizontal horizon is almost exciting.

So of course, this leaning water tower seemed picture worthy.

MapQuest, and the map app on my iPhone routed us many more miles to Angel Fire. An old time paper map showed a much quicker way. It involved driving over a mountain pass on a gravel road. This nine miles was beautiful, and saved us about an hour and a half getting there.

At the top, we got out to take pictures, and to wait for Roman, Kathy, Russell, and Caroline to catch up. I got out and actually ran about a quarter mile at 9200 feet just to see what it felt like. It felt great. I did not really feel winded at all. And in fact, the altitude in the race (up to 10,400 feet) was not really a big deal for me.

The camera timer coupled with the spare tire on Roman's Jeep allowed for a group pic.

We got into Angel Fire just before dark. The sunsets each night were spectacular!!

The next morning, we drove out to check out the course. This small lake we passed several times during the race. As pretty as it was, it was still my least favorite part of the race. I know--I'm weird.

I wanted to see the terrain, and scope out just how steep the climbs were. Right off, I knew I needed my Cascadias, for the rock protection if nothing else.

Turns out, there were a LOT of technical trailz here. But most was very runnable (when it was not straight up.)

Pine trees, bright blue skies, and white fluffy clouds were on tap for the whole weekend.

The next day, we drove to Taos. Dana and I basically just went there to eat, and did not enter a single shop or art gallery. we did check out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and I posted a couple of pics of it in an earlier post.

These shots were from my Canon camera.

This is a HUGE canyon. I thought this was the most impressive thing we saw on the whole trip--plus, it was FREE.

The day after our race (Sunday), we went rafting. The Rio Grande River was at a low level, and our trip was fun, but I never felt like we were in danger of being tossed out of the raft.

The six of us rode on one raft, and were guided by a dude named Matt. He was a very good guide, and made the trip fun. He knew EVERY hidden rock in the six miles, and took us through some of the more difficult passes.

We had a couple of opportunities to hop out of the raft. I did the first time, and while it was refreshing, my semi-fear of the water kept me tense. I was glad to be back in the raft, and declined the second dip opportunity.

Kathy, Roman, and Russell seemed to enjoy the float though.

Some people just float better than others.

During the race, Russell asked Dana to rub some sunscreen on his back. Evidently, Dana thought he was gonna do his arms, and he thought she did that for him.

Sunday night, Dana and I went for a walk right up the ski lift easement.

I don't know how high the climb is--I suppose I could google it.

I was really more interested in getting some good pics, but I got the wild idea to run up it the next morning. Seemed like a great idea, and there were downhill bike trailz, and I could run back down on those. But--I slept in the next morning.

It was getting dark, and there had been a bear sighting a couple days before, so we headed down before it got totally dark.

Just one more picture--then another.

The next day, was departure day--back to the flat lands of Oklahoma.

But not without a detour to Red River!! I figured it was a long drive home either way, so why not squeeze in just a wee bit more sightseeing. It rained on us briefly on the way there, and by the time we got into Red River, it was 65°.

We strolled the town, and ate at Texas Reds, where I had the best New York Strip I've ever had. Then we scoped out a couple of campgrounds and looked for trailz. They were there, but we did not find them.

I want this camper!!!

And I want to see a bear!!!

About 45 minutes after leaving Red River (maybe it was a bit longer than that) we were on flat ground. Flat flat flat. New Mexico has a lot of that, and it was so amazing to be in serious mountains and then into the plains so fast.

Nearing Clayton New Mexico, we got a peak at the very very last of the mountains. Rabbit Ear Mountain can actually be seen just inside the Oklahoma state line. The sun was setting, and it was hard to say goodbye. Another day perhaps, we'll say hello again.
After all, God wants us to go.

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