Another Trip To The Ojito Wilderness

I made my third (what is becoming an annual) trip to the Ojito Wilderness in April of 2013. What I like about the Ojito is how close it is to Albuquerque and how short the actual hikes are to some amazing landscapes.

Campsite by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Campsite by gregjsmith, on Flickr

This time we took a hike up to the Bernalitto Mesa immedialty west of the hoodos. It was about a 500 foot climb to the top.

Large chucks of the mesa have broken off by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Large chucks of the mesa have broken off by gregjsmith, on Flickr
View of the campsite from the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
View of the campsite from the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Cabezon as seen from the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Cabezon as seen from the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Looking east from the top of the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Looking east from the top of the mesa by gregjsmith, on Flickr
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Missing Person Looking For The Lost Dutchman Mine

Superstitions

People are still looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona. Including Jesse Capen who disappeared looking for it in January of 2010.

He had planned to return to Denver in time for Christmas, but he either walked away or was taken from his campsite, and his whereabouts remain a mystery. He could have been bitten by a rattlesnake, shot by another prospector or fallen and broken his leg and been devoured by a bear, Burnett said.
“Deputies suspect foul play may be involved because there is no sign of him,” she said. “Even if he would have been eaten by wild animals, there would be shoes and clothes left behind.”

Capen, who had never married, worked a graveyard shift as a bellhop at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel the past 11 years. For 10 years, he spent his free time studying the legend of the Lost Dutchman mine.
“This is beyond obsessed,” Burnett said. “He has more than 100 books and maps on the legend. This was like research for a Ph.D. This is a classic case of a man’s search for treasure.”

I’ve been camping a few times in the Superstition Mountains when I lived in Arizona as a kid. It’s hard to believe that a area relatively close to a major city, with today’s technology of Google Maps and GPS locators that someone could disappear so easily.

As far as I know, Jesse Capen has not been found.

Pecos Hiking Trip

Last weekend I went on an overnight hike with two friends to the Pecos. Pecos is located east of Santa Fe, about 2 hours away from Albuquerque. Actually, the hike itself was to the Hamilton Mesa which is north of Pecos.

The original plan was to hike 7 miles in but when we were 2.5 miles in and found some good campsite, why keep hiking? During the day the weather was perfect and in the middle of the night it was piss-ass cold. A good sleeping bag helps with that.

This was an opportunity for me to get geotagging down with my SG-289 data logger and and to take some HDR photographs. The geotagging didn’t work out because the stupid SG-289 didn’t record more than a few dozen points. I swear I read 609 points on it at one time.

HDR photography was much more successfully. I took nearly every picture with auto bracketing on and about a quarter of the landscape photos made good HDR. The two problems with the pictures were moving objects such as wind blowing trees around and most of the photos were taken free hand without a tripod. Photomatix Pro did a pretty good job of aligning images but it can’t do much about the moving objects, at least in this case.

You can view all the pictures in my Flickr set: Sept 2008 Pecos Hike. Note that pictures of people have privacy set so you have to be a friend or family to view them.

Here’s an example of a non HDR and a HDR photo.

IMG_0716IMG_0716_7_8_HDR