Sitting Bull Falls

PART EIGHT

Trail 68 Adventures

We have just left the grotto/pool are and are now back on T68, through the S-gate in the fence, headed uphill and then down into the canyon where the first springs are that feed all the water we have seen below us.  In this next photo, we have just left the gate in the fence.  Unbeknownst to me at this moment is that we are following the canyon to the left, and when we come back on the T214, we will be coming in near here from another canyon on the right of the ridge ahead and to the right of us:

The first noteworthy view on this trail is a gorgeous set of tall white oak trees:

Below the trees was a creek with water and several places that looked like small springs were nearby:

From this green point, going uphill was all that T68 did, and here are the last few spring areas I saw:

Soon after these small springs I walked though this mass of greenery into a much drier environment, although not without occasional and beautiful trees:

From now on, creek crossing were dry, but some crossings were not without welcome vegetation:

T68 now bore me (us) relentlessly upward and the scenes were nice, but I will only show a couple (where there was most welcome shade, the day had gotten quite warm):

The upward angle was causing me to sweat and drink, each time I thought I was near the top, another level appeared and the climbing just continued:

Finally we came to the curved surface of the plateau above,

Just to our right here stood the Trail Junction C marker, where I decided to go back on T214, but only after first trying to see what their was to see on the way to Queen:

It was a relentless, even if gentle, upward path from here to Queen:

I thought that tree on the path in the above photo might be where the trail levels off, but I was wrong.  Near that tree, however, I did get a glimpse of the Guadalupes, so I was not far from whatever top there was to this trail:

This met my criterion, slightly revised, for seeing the top of this trail. So here is where I turned around.  Not only was I tired and had used more than half my water, but I also had to have my car out of the park by 6PM.   A week later, I saw just how close I had come to the end of the trail, about a half mile, at most, to the official Trailhead (see PART ELEVEN).  

T68 offered shade I did not realize I would be lacking if I descended T214.  So it is a good thing I stopped to have lunch here on the T68 very near Trail Junction C:

I did not see shade again for over an hour.  Please follow my sunny journey back along T214 in PART NINE.

Go to PART NINE: Trail 214 adventures

Go to PART TEN: Queen, NM, and the Guadalupes

Go to PART ELEVEN: The top of Trail 68 near Queen

Go Back to PART ONE: Location and Background

Go Back to PART TWO: Arriving at the The Falls

Go Back to PART THREE: The Falls

Go Back to PART FOUR: Lower Riparian Area

Go Back to PART FIVE: To the top and beyond

Go Back to PART SIX: Upper riparian area (springs!)

Go Back to PART SEVEN: Coming back for more: the grotto and pool

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