Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fillmore Canyon- Organ Mountains






As I am writing, upper Fillmore Canyon continues to burn, as do the upper slopes of Indian Hollow. Places like these are at the very heart of my life here in Las Cruces.The Organ Mountains are not just a backdrop.They are a place to go into, and once I started going into them, I could never get enough. Even now, after making probably over a hundred trips,I still had plans for new explorations.That's the way it is with a place like the Organ Mountains, every hike gives a peak into some new route or place that beckons your return.Hiking way back into Fillmore Canyon for first time was an eye opener. There were brilliant ash trees in fall color, giant junipers, a running stream and the largest conifer forest in the Organs along the north facing slopes. It was like taking a trip to Gila, only we were only a dozen miles from downtown Las Cruces.Even though the upper reaches are technically on Fort Bliss,no one seemed to care, and in the last few years, I almost always ran into other happy hikers on this, the best unofficial trail in the Organs. My heart is breaking a little right now as I contemplate the extent of the damage. It may have been inevitable,but I still can't help feeling a angry over the foolishness that started this fire. Someone was quoted as saying the Army can't wait to run the trainings,well, I guess they're going to have to wait now. Perhaps, it will give them time to contemplate the wrath of the citizens, which is already starting to surface.Perhaps, but I doubt it. I've also read repeatedly how no structures are threatened or have been damaged, as if some man-made structure that's thrown up in a few months is actually more significant than a tree that's been growing for a thousand years. Ah well, here are few photos. I will try to try stay upbeat and know that wild places will heal- but it will never be the same again- not in the lifetime of anyone breathing.