Day 2: NNML – Juniper, Heat, and Cacti

June 4

La Tierra Trail to Rio Grande River

About 20 miles

Both Sally and I are a bit more than nervous about the conditions we are facing of tomorrow’s ford of the Rio Grande. 

The first 2 water sources on the route are cow troughs. It was so hot, we had no problems with the conditions of cow pies and all kinds of green stuff in the water and surrounding the area. 

The rest of the day we hiked primarily on dirt roads in Juniper forest. The last 2 miles to the Rio was rough cross-country sprinkled with loose rock and cacti. The heat ramped up with intensity. I was nauseous and Sally had a headache. Our first glimpse of the river was meant with relief, knats, thirst, and dusty bodies. 

Unfortunately the Rio has all kinds of bad things that are dumped into it and is not safe to drink. 🙁

Picnic area at Headquarters Well
Sally’s Trail name “Arrow”
Sally at all our breaks, organizing, reading maps, and generally looking good
Me at breaks = sprawled out
Headquarters Well
Looking back at Santa Fe – What is the name of this cactus?
1200 Well
Dipping from the water
Cross-country travel
Staying on route
Rio Grande at sunset
After our first glimpse of the river
Our crossing will be to the right


  1. Mark Goldfain

    Beautiful country. I also love the old-style straw hat you have — looks well-ventilated.

  2. Whew! Glad others knew the Cactus question.. cuz I was out on that one.. Beautiful shot of the Rio Grande.. anxious for tomorrow..

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Walking stick Cholla – very different than what we have in the Mohave Desert. Thank you for following along.

  3. Yes, one of the many varieties of Cholla cactus (pronounced choy-a). Good luck on your trip and please stay hydrated! Love your blog!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Thank you and hello Tony! Hope you have some fun trips upcoming. Yes, it is a Walkingstick Cholla. Hydrated is king here. Thanks for commenting.

  4. mnmn

  5. Thanks for the wonderful photos! Where did you get your pack attachment for your phone?

  6. Looks like a species of euphoria.

  7. Hope the heat calms down for you. And God’s blessings on the river crossing. Hope that just goes very smoothly.

    Great photo of Sally with her namesake “arrow” fence.

  8. That’s cholla (the cactus)!

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