After grabbing some lunch in Ruidoso, Captain Husband, Sammy and I decided to head off on a scenic drive to the nearby Monjeau Lookout Tower in the Sacramento Mountains; built in 1936, the Tower served as fire lookout within the Lincoln National Forest and is now open to all visitors who hike or drive there (the drive was kind of scary to be honest, but I'm really glad that we braved out the five-mile unpaved road to the top).
We were greeted by a crisp breeze, the lovely smell of pine trees and the gentle rustling of aspen leaves at the top of the mountain. It was just the taste of fall that I had been waiting for! We bundled Sammy up, strapped him to my back and set out for the actual lookout tower.
It was a relatively short hike to the tower, which was a good thing, because I was huffing and puffing the whole way up thanks to the major change in elevation. But it was totally worth it--the panoramic views were breathtaking:
We had to cut our tower visit a bit short thanks to all of the bees buzzing around, so there was no group photo at the top of the mountain. I had yet to satisfy my photography urges, so CH kept Sammy busy playing with some rocks in the parking area while I went off and explored a nearby meadow that was filled with all sorts of beautiful wild flowers:
And just for fun, here's a SOOC shot for this week's Shoot and Edit Challenge (the theme is leaves, but I think this will work):