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  • kaydee777

Turtle for two (miles that is)

Updated: Jan 8

Today's exploration of the West Lakeshore Trail in Elephant Butte Lake State Park was an impulse decision.

I had to deliver some seed garlic to someone in the nearby village of Elephant Butte. I really should have been returning home to pack and load for the Saturday market tomorrow. It didn't take much to persuade myself that I needed a little walk in the park.

I took the Rock Canyon exit to find trailheads, thinking I might find markers three or four.

Heading south on the trail from Rock Canyon I found a 1.5 mile marker - just numerals. Not really what I was looking for but something.

Then I found the fish # 10 which I had met on my first wander on this trail.

It seems I am not very good at estimating miles on this trail system. I turned back, crossed over the road where I had parked and headed north on the trail.

There it was! A two mile turtle!

Draped between some rocks near this two mile point a snake had left its old skin. A lovely image of growth, change, renewal and transformation, I left it as I found it.

It was getting cold so I headed back home, January's full wolf moon on the rise.

"...put yourself in the way of beauty..." Cheryl Strayed


My tally now is 1 turtle (2 miles heading north) 2 lizards (1 mile at each end of the trail) a fish encountered twice (10 miles south) and humans (11 miles north)


Program Notes

The trail is in Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Use fees apply with various options available. I purchase an annual day use pass which allows me entry to any NM State Park, and, besides great walking opportunities in beautiful geographies, the yellow pass which hangs on my rear view mirror, is my ticket to year round dawn prayer paddles. I live between two big lakes.


The desert crust is fragile. It is essential that trail users stay on the marked trails to reduce negative impact.

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