Saturday, November 26, 2011 – Past Fierro – FR 4203E
Sub Title: 3 Old Mines and 2 Sore Hikers
I have not been on a hike all week due to the Thanksgiving festivities so I pushed myself out the door today for a hike with Cody. I decided to check out the road that goes out past Fierro. Fierro is an old mining town that is off of Highway 152 on Route 356. I passed by old mining equipment, the church, cemetery and a bunch of old buildings in varying levels of decay and residency. For more information on the town, check out:
I went as far as I could on 356 – until I almost hit the gate to the mining operations. There was a side road to the right and that led to me to many hiking options. I chose FR 4203E as my starting point. I was soon glad I did. Very soon into the hike, I came to an old mine shaft with a fence around it. It was cool (wait, I think today’s vernacular would make this sight – awesome) to walk around it and check out the hole and wood beams around it. I wondered how they made the hole so square – I guess they had some decent equipment back then.
A little further and the terrain started changing. Hillier and a creek that I walked along. Soon, pine trees started making an appearance. Across the creek I saw another mine and just had to cross over and check it out. This had more holes and more wood equipment in the ground. I was afraid Cody would disappear into one of the holes but I worry for nothing most of the time. We crossed back over onto our path and continued on. Our path started rising as the creek dropped off into an impressive ravine. I was now walking among pine trees on a pleasant ridge. At the end of the ridge it wound to the right and down. I followed but it soon stopped abruptly at a precipice. After picking up some interesting rocks, I turned back. Back at the end of the ridge, I looked out and enjoyed a long range view to the north and east. Saw some snow on a high mountain in the distance. I also noticed that on the ridge to my right were pine trees and on the ridge to my left was a more desert look – scrub oak and such – no large trees. It was interesting to realize I was at the edge of the pine forest.
On the way back, I was checking the GPS and walking at the same time. Doing these two functions at the same time ended up being too challenging for me and I slipped and fell on the rocky road. A painful hip and 2 scratches on the GPS were the damages reported. That’s what I get for stashing interesting rocks in my back pockets and not paying attention.
Soon after I saw a third mine that was missed on the way in. A pit and what resembled a building or maybe a processing area. We had fun exploring it for a few minutes and then headed back to the car. That’s when I noticed Cody was limping on her back right side. I checked for burrs or cuts but found nothing. This afternoon we sit and nurse our wounds….. and make turkey soup.
2 hours and 2.03 miles
18 down / 82 to go