Bandelier National Monument

After I stepped onto a trail in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, I looked back at the parking lot, then looked ahead at the trail, and then back, and then forward. Oh crap! The trail was snow-covered and no one else was there to offer advice. I went for it anyway, following footprints. Then I looked up at the sky, hoping that the looming storm would wait until after I was done hiking, rather than cover up the tracks I was following. At one point, I saw a yellow diamond placard on a tree. Oh, it’s marked for logging. No, you dodo bird. It’s one of several trail markers. Phew. So, no longer a need for adrenaline, I was exhausted with most of the trail to go and ice and mud to navigate as well as snow. At the top of the mountain, my feet, inappropriately covered in hiking boots, sank in foot-deep snow. I fell several times and laughed at my predicament. At one point, snow went into my boot. Hah hah hah. Cold!!! Being at the top was worth it, having the whole mountain range to myself . . . and deer. Looking back at the footprints in the snow, I realized that even free spirits occasionally have to walk in others’ footprints.
I also visited Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos where I learned about The Manhattan Project and saw filming of the 2023 movie Oppenheimer. Pictured with me is a lucky bastard I pulled off another trail and onto a dance floor in Santa Fe.