We took an easy, round-trip hike on one of our most beautiful trails.
Great time of day to hike.
We went early in the morning to be sure we would be back in time for Brandon’s appointment.
We three, me, my wife Joy, and Brandon, along with our six-month-old puppy, Stanzi hiked on the Vista Verde Trail down in the Rio Grande Gorge.
We got a close encounter with a herd of bighorn sheep as soon we arrived at the trailhead.
They were so close we could almost touch the magnificent animals.
We didn’t spook them, allowing them to pose for us for some great photos.
Bighorn were re-introduced into the canyon just a few years ago. And they are doing well.
We hardly ever hike this trail that we don’t see a herd somewhere or other, though usually at a distance.
But this time, up so close!
Best trail to take visitors hiking
We take friends on this trail who’ve never been to this area.
It gives them an immediate introduction to our beautiful Southwest.
And it also enables them to acclimate to our higher elevation.
While our town is a mile and a half higher than New York City, the trail is down at a more comfortable elevation inside the canyon.
While I usually hike alone, enabling me to readily sink into the ancient feel of rocks and foliage, it was good to hike in the good company of others who also appreciate this sense of antiquity.
Petroglyphs on the rock outcroppings transport us back a thousand years or more.
Probably the anasazi presence here takes us well back into the age of the rocks.
There are distinct traces of lava from extinct volcanoes.
And of course, there are the obvious remains of the impressive clash of the earth’s tectonic plates in the chasm of the great gorge itself.
It’s a humbling feeling of our puniness within the great cosmic presence down here for eons of time.
Bravo to the Creator of the universe and all that’s in it!
For perspective, I’m reminded of a quote from an Eastern philosopher:
This terrestrial life is an initiatory school in which, through our many earthly incarnations, we humans are destined to raise our consciousness of the divine plan.
It cannot be resisted.
All are called to climb the ladder of evolution, whether or not we are willing.
All are destined to attain Realization, although the time and number of incarnations to reach it varies.
Out here it certainly seems as if something like this process is occurring — yet so, so slowly.
And we are an ever-so-small part of it all!