Dry as a Bone

Trip Start Dec 31, 2012
Trip End May 04, 2013

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What I did
Handwriting on the Walls

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We went to the Sign-up Place early today and got our "permits" to visit the White Mountain area of Hueco Tanks.  The Tanks and the Huecos (small indentations in the rocks) are truly dry.  With the third year of drought, it is not surprising.

The permit only covers two trails.  The longer is about a mile and half and the second one is less than a mile long.  We took the longer and visited a good number of spots where the indigenous people must have hung out.  There was so much twentieth century graffiti that I was really disappointed.  But then, this place has been around for a long time and people do act like people.  We finally found a few painted symbols on the granite boulders.  The boulders are huge, by the way, as you'll see on the photos.  They are, incidentally, at www.flickr.com/photos/ralphieboyo.

We saw only one other hiker, which makes me wonder why all of the control over how many folks can sign up.  But I'll let that rest for now.

We also saw several birds and got a few shots of them.  I had put out a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder yesterday, in violation of park policy, but not a single bird approached either of them.  It seems that the birds must need a permit also... Mebbe.

We hiked about two hours and covered some four miles.  The terrain was varied from easy trail to rough rocky areas.  Near the end, we found the "Chain Trail", which had a chain railing to help you scale the slopes.  By then, neither of us were in the mood to try it.  I wish that we had found it earlier.  Maybe we'll be back sometime and give it a try.

The Tanks, as they are called, are low-lying areas that hold the water from a heavy rain. They have been dry for awhile, but look like they would be a beautiful addition in the rainier season.  The Huecos, as stated above, are indentations in the granite boulders of varying size and also hold water longer than other spots.  These are the main reason the area was inhabited for the last four thousand years.  Dryness prevails now, sadly.

We got back to base a bit before noon.  It's in the mid-eighties now and there's only a mild breeze.  A true breeze it is, not the Texas variety.  A few clouds have appeared today which do wonders for the photog in me.  Perhaps we'll see a decent sunset.  Hope prevails.

We'll be leaving by eight o'clock tomorrow in the AM, in hopes of avoiding the high winds forecast for the late afternoon.  We hope to be at Rockhound State Park west of Deming, New Mexico before they really turn on.  Cross your fingers for us.
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Dennis on

Looks like your weather has been pretty good. Lots of wind, cold and some snow in CO right now. Hope the wind isn't too bad tomorrow.

TJ on

Please eat some green chile enchiladas for me while you're in tex-mex country. Here's wishing you a good sunset........

ferdie on

sounds like a really interesting area, sad it is so dry! Can only imagine what it must have been like for the indeginous folks (spelling)! The temps sound really NICE about now with 22 this am. and more white stuff! Keep the hiking up! Hugs.....

Chris Stockwell on


We also experienced desert at Death Valley. Didn't see any cactus blooms, but did see Indian Paintbrush. We drove toward a true sandstorm in the Panamints before going back to Stovepipe Wells to get a room. We are now in Fresno, poised for a day in Yosemite. Then, on to SF to see Will.

Mike on

Glad you got some good hiking in before you hit some of the winds of Texas and New Mexico. I am a little behind (as you know) on my comments but not behind in following your exploits ....Travel slowly til spring really gets here.

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