Monthly Archives: October 2011
This week, Mary Ann and I took the southern part of the Continental Divide Trail that we did last Sunday. It is located in the Burro Mountains. Cody joined us and I think that putting her in the cage with it covered definitely helps her car anxiety.
The hike meanders through meadows and creeks and has a few climbs to it. It was a great work-out as we tried to keep a steady pace. The last 2+ miles is on a dirt road going back to the car. Since it was after 4:00 p.m., we saw MANY hunters in pick-up trucks along the road. It was a bit surprising to see that many. We didn’t see any deer at all, and only a few tracks, so we wondered where the hunters were going to find their targets. Obviously, the Burros are a popular place to hunt this time of year. I’m thinking that an Orange vest might be a fine addition to the gear!
We had many opportunities to see the Mogollon Mountains in the distance and several views of the Tyrone Mine. Also, on the dirt road, we found an old rock house that we explored. I always wonder about the history of these old buildings and the people who made them. If anyone knows anything about this one, I’d love to hear the story! At one point we saw something curious that I wish I photographed. Scattered on the ground were a large quantity of Quartz rock. They were densely populated in this one area and it almost looked like a huge boulder had been dropped and had broken into these many pieces that were now just lying near each other. It was a curious sight.
We were out for 3 hours and according to the handy dandy GPS, we went 5.41 miles. My longest hike yet. I aim to be able to do 8-10 miles by the time I’m 6-8 months into this project.
9 down / 91 to go!
Lynn, Julian, and I (along with the ever ready Orfa), rode out past the ghost town of Mogollon to hike the trail Julian took last week with his friends. He claimed the aspens made for a beautiful hike and I, being from the northeast, wanted to see and smell some leaves.
The town of Mogollon is a little enclave of buildings built in the late 1800’s around a mining business. Now there are a few people living a quiet life there. To check out more information, go to this website:
We parked in the Sandy Point parking lot that the forest service maintains along with a bathroom (thank you guys!). The trail was greatly in the shade of large pine trees. I was surprised that there were so many trees down on the ground. I wonder if back east they are picked up more frequently. As you’ll see in the photos, there are lots of dead trees.
Another interesting aspect of the hike was the plane wreck. Julian had already done this trail the week before so he mentioned it. A pilot friend of mine did some homework and we found out that the plane was from a 2007 accident where the pilot had stolen the plane and crashed it here. Did a fine job of killing himself, his passenger, and part of the forest. It was interesting to explore. You could see the path where the plane came into the forest, shearing off the tops of some trees on his way to the ground. Check out the story at: http://www.planecrashmap.com/plane/nm/N28836
Well, the hike was great; we went about 5 miles. Took 3 hours and 45 minutes. It was freezing there; when we got out of the car at 11:00, it was 44 degrees. The altitude at the parking lot was approximately 9500. Time to start adding layers (and gloves, and wool hats, etc) to these hikes!
Here is a map that shows where we went.
8 down / 92 to go!
I am constantly stunned at how many beautiful areas there are quite close to my house. I wanted a quick hike for today and since Frank was going to be up at the fire station, I thought that I would hike near there. I remembered Radio Tower Road and thought I try it. The road has been worked on and was easy to drive up – to a certain point. I parked at the halfway mark and Cody and walked along an old side road that was quite rutted out in many areas. The large quantity of bear scat reminded this lone hiker that we’re in the wilderness. I’m actually not afraid of bears – I’m pretty sure they would hear and smell me and disappear long before I (or more likely Cody dog) would sense them. I’m more concerned about mountain lions. I also realize that I don’t know what mountain lion scat looks like. Note to self: ask someone about signs of mountain lions.
The hiking was great – the views were lovely and I enjoyed walking through the trees. I took lots of photos since there were so many beautiful vistas to check out.
This was my first lone hike in a while and it confirmed that I just don’t like to hike alone. So many people do enjoy the solitude; I found it a bit unnerving. What a wuss! But also, I find it kind of boring (don’t tell Cody I said that).
2 hour hike / approximately 4 miles.
There are several side roads so I can hike in this area again.
6 down / 94 to go
How is it that I’ve lived here for 11 years (anniversary on the 18th) and have never gotten to Turkey Creek? So many people have mentioned it. I’ve heard it’s beautiful.
Today I walked it with Marianne, Julian and Lynn (and Orfa too!) and it was wonderful!! To get there you went from Intestate to highway to blacktop to dirt road to unimproved road to trail. The drive there offered many vistas and exciting turns (Julian can drive fast on some of the curves!).
The hiking trail meanders along the Gila River. We were up to our thighs on several of the river crossings. Marianne and I actually held hands’ crossing a few times as the current was stronger than we expected. The weather was cool and sunny. A beautiful October day. We saw some stunning rock cliffs and formations. At times it reminded me of upstate New York or western Jersey trails due to the large trees, lush greenery and running water.
Frank told me of a rescue he did out there of a guy who broke his ankle/foot and had to be brought out by mule. Four of the rescue team were on horseback and had to sleep out one night in order to reach him and his group. It took the guy four hours to go about a mile. Then when they got him on mule, the last 4 miles took about an hour.
I loved this hike and look forward to exploring more of the trails in the area!
We estimated we went about 4-5 miles. We were hiking for about 3 hours. I used the camel water system and liked that a lot. It was easy to get a drink at any time.
It occurs to me that some of the conversations we have really add to the hike and the enjoyment of the day. Either laughing or getting philosophical or just get caught up on each others’ lives really adds to the relaxation and fun of it all.
5 down / 95 to go.
Today I hiked with Linda R. in the McKinney Road area. This is an area about 5 miles south of town. There are dirt roads and trails throughout the area. There is a pond out there that many birders enjoy – probably because many Birds enjoy it too! I brought Cody and we had a good two hour work out as Linda likes to walk fast and burn some calories. No complaints here – I lost weight this week.
We were out for 2+ hours and walked about 4-5 miles.
4 down / 96 to go
Due to the annual birthday hangover, we decided to try an easy hike. Nancy, Cody and I went to Fort Bayard Game Preserve. I planned to show Nancy the Dragonfly Petroglyphs. We stopped at the Forest Service Office and got a bunch of maps. However, when we got to the Game Preserve, it turns out that there are a bunch of trails not on the maps so it’s difficult to figure out which one you’re on corresponds to the map. I started to wing it from memory. I was in the petroglyph area but we lost the trail a few times due to tall grass. No problem, we ended up with a good hike. Took us about 3 hours. We passed by the old car graveyard – a little landmark at the east end of the preserve.
Getting lost reminded me that using the GPS system would be good for comparing map notes. Frank and I did that on a hike in Canyonlands and it helped us stay on trail. Note to self: Have Frank show me how to use the GPS and remember to bring it on hikes.
I’ve noticed my feet hurting after each hike. I bought new boots and after #1 put extra cushion in them. My feet were my weak point during the long walk challenge too. Damn and oh well. I wonder which toenail I’ll lose first. I also have a sore left hip. Just like the walking, I’ll have to stretch the left thigh muscle to keep the hips from going out of alignment.
3 down / 97 to go
Second hike starts at about 10:45 and ends at 1:45. Nancy and I (along with Cisco this time) make the climb up McComas Peak to the west of town. I had done this one other time with Maryann Buckley. The view was worth the uphill trek.
The day was nice and in the 70’s. We brought some hummus and crackers (and dog biscuits of course!) and enjoyed a rest at the top. I’m really not sure how many miles it was – I think it was around 4 miles round trip. It took us about 25 minutes to drive there.
I’m glad I brought my walking stick – it was rocky most of the way.
The clasp on my favorite fanny pack broke as I was putting it on so I had to tie it together and carry it around my shoulder instead. I hope Frank can fix it. But again, I think I’m going to need more water because on longer hikes, we’re going to get low fast. The idea of having water back at the car is a good one too.
We had great conversation on the way. Everything from – our envy of our young nieces – to financial and everything in between. It made me wonder about hiking in solitude. Maybe I should try it some time. Never have before. Hmmmmmmm.
Note to self: bring more water, if you use a walking stick-bring gloves, and also bring bandana.
2 down / 98 to go!
My first of 100 hikes started off perfectly, with my best friend Nancy and my dog Cody. I found this to be a great start to my challenge since Nancy has been with me through so much.
We walked the back roads, sometimes blacktop, sometimes trail and mostly dirt roads to 120 Wagon Wheel Lane. Jim and Margaret were waiting for us with a birthday celebration that couldn’t be beat.
We started at about 12:30 and arrived at about 2:30. I estimate it was approximately 5 miles. Weather was warm in the 70-80’s. At one point it clouded over and got cooler. (later in the day it rained). The path winds its way around the northern edge of the Dos Griegos subdivision where we periodically got peaks at the houses. The next leg took us to the dirt road of the newer subdivision, Pinos Altos Estates, which is adjacent to the Gila. That meets up with Cleveland Mine Road where we walked south until we hit Little Walnut Road. Took that west to Wagon Wheel Lane where we met up with Frank (who drove up) carrying our party goods. Frank will join me on other hikes as his broken ankle heals.
Cody did great, a burr needed dislodging at one point but she stayed nearby and made it with no problems. I sometimes worry about her 10 year old abilities. I also worry that I can carry enough water on some of my longer hikes. Can I carry enough for me and dog?
We saw scat evidence of bear in at least 5-6 different locations. Note to self: bring the gun.
1 down / 99 to go!
So it’s time for me to challenge myself again.3 or 4 years ago I walked 50 miles in 3 days. It was a great challenge and now I find myself ready for the next one. Living at the foothills of the Gila National Forest makes this a bit easier – there are endless trail options here!
My guidelines are as such-
1. It has to be 100 different hikes. I can overlap portions of trails, but the bulk must be new.
2. A hike must be 2+ hours in total.
3. No part of the 2 hours can be on black top (blagh!). I can walk on black top to get to the trail head, but that portion doesn’t count in the time!
4. Dirt roads can be included but should be avoided.
I’m going to try to complete 3 hikes in a week. This should help me during hot days, snow and cold, too busy, etc.
I look forward to inviting friends to join me – I’m counting on them to show me some trails I’m not familiar with! So far, I know the following people will join me occasionally – Frank, Nancy, Steve, Julian, Lynn, Marianne, Linda R, Lilia, Lou, Shelley.
I am keeping a spreadsheet describing the hike so I can track what I’ve done. I’m also going to copy a map and hang it in my office and highlight the completed areas. Organized exercise!
I’ve already completed 3 hikes with Nancy. I will post information on them shortly.