Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I don’t know if you can really consider Canada geese to be wild – they’re everywhere.  But I couldn’t resist this adult and three goslings.

A close-up of two of the little ones.

We moved from Storrie Lake to Sugarite Canyon, another New Mexico state park, situated very near the Colorado border.  We had visited the park a few years ago and explored its historic coal mining camp and nearby Capulin Volcano National Monument, here.
There are two levels in the park – one along the river and the other a thousand feet higher on a cliff.  Since we were only staying overnight, we parked just off the road along a wide spot in the river.

Right across the road, these deer weren’t bothered by us at all. 

After we got settled, I suggested that we take the trail up to the campground on top of the cliff.  This was maybe not the smartest thing I had ever thought to do.

The trail was probably two miles and quickly took off uphill.  With all the rain earlier in the week, we could see lots of deer tracks and knew the animals also used the trail.

But wait!  These are cougar tracks!  Yikes!

And us without our hiking sticks.  So we broke off some hefty downed tree limbs, just in case, and soldiered on.

Once we reached the top, we read the trail sign which warned that we were in cougar country.  Funny, there was no sign at the bottom.

By this time, it was probably about 4:30 and I was worried about taking the trail back down.  When do cougars have dinner?  Sure, those tracks were days old, but once the trail dried, they wouldn’t leave impressions.  The only other choice was to take the road which was probably three times as long.

As we stood there, debating what to do, a miracle occurred!  The very nice driver of the only vehicle in the area stopped to talk to us.  After telling him and his passengers about our adventures on the trail, he kindly asked if we wanted a ride back down.  Yes!  Although there were already four people in the truck, Ron and I squeezed in.

(Now before anybody starts lecturing about accepting rides from strangers, let me reassure you.  These were four old people, just like us.)

But our wildlife adventures weren’t done yet.  Back at the rig, Ron looked across the river and saw a bear strolling along the trail.  You’re just going to have to believe me that this is a bear.  My camera was focusing on the bushes.


  1. Yikes! Is right. Stay inside and get out of there.

  2. Some Canada Geese still migrate some don't but I consider them to be wild...Wow glad you found a ride down...and I do believe you, I have similar bear photos!

  3. It's amazing what you can find in the soft mud and generally it is still fresh which means you are being watched. We saw a track like that in Arizona while hiking but had our hiking poles with us. We now carry our hunting knives as well.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. When I squinted really hard it looked a bit like a bear ;-)

  5. I could barely make out the bear. So I'll go by your telling me it was a bear. ;c)