We’re shifting our focus from climbing to backpacking in preparation for our Wyoming CDT Hike this July. It’s a great time to do this – desert flowers are coming out, water is generally available, and temperatures are not too hot yet. We take advantage of all these things in Bandelier, starting at the visitor center in Frijoles Canyon, crossing Lummis and Alamo canyons, and spending a night in Capulin Canyon. The cactus are blooming along with other flowers, and many interesting insects are out enjoying them with us, including Cicadas that I’ve never seen before (the 17-year variety, perhaps)? We have another very brief bear encounter just before camping in Capulin canyon, which rattles our nerves a little bit, but fortunately this bear is still very spooked by humans. On the more western leg hiking back, we skirt clifftops and weather small rain showers. It’s the first time I’ve experienced rain in light such that when I look up, each raindrop is point of light that I can track for a long time before it hits the ground. I watch one until it hits my nose. Backpacking is good.