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Monday, October 7, 2013

Karr Canyon, New Mexico: Reprise


Last October, I followed a scenic road sign through Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, off of Highway 82.

This September, my last month in New Mexico, I revisited the Karr Canyon drive. The trees weren't in their autumn dress, but the sunflowers were in radiant bloom, there was a mist lowering into the valley, and a cool rain fell.

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico

Karr Canyon, near High Rolls, New Mexico


Last October's post:

Cloudcroft, NM: Karr Canyon and the Mystery of Binoculars 58

Karr  Canyon, near Cloudcroft, New Mexico


AKA: New Mexico: Fall Colors, Part 3


After I emerged victorious from imaginary mountain lion attacks, I made my way back through High Rolls and headed to Cloudcroft proper. 

But almost as soon as I got onto Highway 82, I saw a sign with a graphic of binoculars and the number 58, pointing right.


58 Binoculars

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and why not? So I turned right onto Karr Canyon Road in search of what I presumed to be a scenic viewpoint a few hundred yards away.










The beginning held so much promise, with a spectacular vision of tall columns of leafy sunshine.












And after rounding some pleasant curves, I approached a postcard-beautiful meadow at the foot of the mountains, filled with multi-colored, waving grasses and shrubs in medieval-tapestry colors like claret, champagne, and ivory. Alas, I knew my camera was not going to be able to overcome the still-strong sunlight to recreate how gorgeous this scene was. It's worth returning to this area during a different time of day to try to capture it. In the meantime, this was the best I could do:



But where was this scenic view #58? I pushed on. I seemed to be climbing, and soon I entered a forest. Then yay! Another sign with the binoculars and the 58!

(What was the 58? The name of the road? The mile marker? The 58th scenic view in NM? I didn't know, but I was guessing a mile marker, but weren't the mile markers ascending rather than descending? I didn't know.) 

I kept going, even when the pavement stopped.

The forest pressed in closer. I passed an area with picnic tables and even a vault toilet structure. The road was pretty rough, and I kept climbing.

I saw a trio of deer over on the left, and they bounded away.

Occasionally, sun pushed through the dense canopy and I thought I might be cresting the mountain, where I'd arrive at the view.  But then I'd climb some more.

My wuss side kept talking to me about vehicle breakdowns, heavily-armed mountain-living survivalists, methheads, and I had no whistle to defend myself.

But I kept going.

Until. I realized, no, it was just too late in the day, this first day of not-daylight-savings time. So I turned around and came back, with a plan to find out what this 58 business was so I could visit it another day. I got to see the lovely yellow columns again on my way out.
















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