March 23 – 26, 2010
Sacramento Mountains, Southern New Mexico
Organized by Kelly Allred
The 2010 SO BE FREE was held in the Sacramento Mountains in south-central New Mexico, not far from White Sands National Monument and the Trinity Site of atomic bomb fame. We were based at the Sacramento Methodist Assembly Camp & Conference Center (see sacramentoassembly.org), about 30 road miles southeast of Cloudcroft, and 130 miles from the El Paso International Airport. The center is on the eastern flanks of the Sacramento Mts, at 7200 ft.
The Sacramento Mountains range from 4500 ft in the foothills to nearly 12,000 ft at nearby Sierra Blanca. The mountains are surrounded by Chihuahuan Desert and short-grass plains. The area is rather dry southern Rocky Mountain vegetation, with woodlands and savannahs at the lower elevations, ranging through coniferous forests at mid-elevations, to subalpine forests at the highest elevations. We visited sites in the mountains, at springs, seeps, and shaded north-slopes, but we also visited piñyon-juniper woodland and the upper edge of Chihuahuan Desert vegetation. As is traditional, we provided special learning activities for beginners, as well as interesting field trips for all, from novice to specialist. We shared all meals communally, and microscope keying sessions and informal talks went on well into the evenings, so there were opportunities for many rewarding interactions.
Here is a video of SO BE FREE 15 produced by Lena Coleman.
Here is a link to photos of SO BE FREE 15 by Russ Kleinman. (All photos on this page are courtesy of Russ Kleinman)