Explore the Organ Mountains: Dripping Springs Trail
The pavement road turned to gravel and dirt. My low lying sporty car started bumping and rolling along the road. A dramatic change from the smooth ride on the road previously. Bumping along, the mountains in the distance loomed closer and closer. More accurately… they towered over me. These were mountains I had seen from a distance every day as I drove to work and around town. Up close and personal though, that was a whole different story. From afar they looked cool. Up close and personal, they looked breathtaking. I could see every ravine, every crevice and rock formation that made up the peaks of these mountains. So unlike anything I had ever seen out East.
I got to the visitor area after continuing t bum along on that gravel and dirt road for about 10 minutes. Entered the little hut that served as the visitor center and checked in. Then went back to my car and took out my camera to wait for my hiking partner to arrive. You could say that I’d been set up on a blind date. One of my coworkers in the ICU met another traveling nurse about my age one her first day and she thought we might be good for each other I guess. And we both had just happened to have plans to go hike the Organ Mountains this week. So my coworker set us up and put us in touch with each other. After exchanging a few text messages and arranging a time it was all set for today. So there I am wondering what will happen, and if she will even show up. Shortly after I get to my car a young women pulls up and gets out of her car. “Michelle?” “John?” we both ask simultaneously. “Well, that was easy”.
After she checks in at the visitor center and gets her parking pass we head off and the small talk begins. We quickly realize that we went the wrong way, and the path we took was to get to a maintenance and storage area and not the hiking path as we find a fence blocking us from the path we thought we were headed for. Laughing we turn around and find the trail. The small talk begins. As we start off we quickly discover a picture perfect scene where two trees line the path with the mountains in the background. “I hope you don’t mind but I’ve got this massive camera and I’m going to take some pictures” she says, stopping to take her camera out of her backpack. “Not at all, I have one two and I’ll be doing the exact same thing” I say as I take mine out. We laugh and talk about or similar budding interests in photography and the opportunities travel nursing will afford us to do so. The path takes us up the side of one of the peaks and brings us out to a small waterfall running into a small brook that abruptly stops and becomes a dry creek bed. Guess that’s what happens to water in the desert. It disappears.
We turn around and hike back heading for another trail, taking pictures all the way. The trail has been fairly easy, just a nice gradual incline and nothing too intense. This trail leads us down a gorge with a rock face on each side of us. We hear running water again! Sure enough shortly thereafter, we find another bubbling brook leading up to another water fall. This one has at least a 30 foot drop from the top of the cliff face. Another photo opportunity!
Afterwards, many photo having been taken, we decide to head on back to our cars but take an alternate route which will loop around the other side. It was a good adventure. Hiking in the mountains with a beautiful woman at my side, snapping lots of photos, and getting some exercise while we explore and trade stories. All in all a good day! I plan to see more of both her, and those mountains!
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