Monthly Archives: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011 – C Bar Ranch Road to Petroglyphs

South of Silver City, New Mexico

What a way to end a rough year! At the beginning of the year, Frank was recovering from heart surgery, then my work slowed and I decided to take a break from it. My friend Mary Ann’s precious husband died suddenly. Neighbor Skip shortly moves to a new place and Steve is retiring! I started a cooking club which brings me so much joy and this hiking challenge has been above my expectations. It’s been a whirlwind and frankly, I’m ready to say good-bye to 2011 and look forward to 2012. May it bring peace and happiness to the ones I love.

 

Today’s hike was a wonderful way to end a year. A sunny day met us as we drove south of Silver City; Mary Ann wanted to show me the Petroglyphs and I was anxious to see what several people told me about. We drove on Highway 90 until we hit C Bar Ranch Road. We followed it 2 miles or so and parked on the side. We noted several side paths to explore in the future.

 

Petroglyphs near Silver City, NM

 

The terrain is rolling hills with little brush; many rock outcroppings provided interest along the way. The trail led us through a box canyon area that we had to backtrack up and around (after Cody enjoyed the water). We even checked out a small waterfall dropping from the rocky sides. As you can see from the photos, we were able to get cool shots of several rock formations. In some spots, we could see Cook’s Peak sneaking above the hills. Mary Ann guided us around the huge rock formation and found the Petroglyphs. What a treat! I took many photographs of the Petroglyphs and we explored the area finding man-made holes in the ground from Indians preparing their food. We talked about what it must have been like to be an Indian in their time and live here. They had access to several braided streams, rolling hills to farm on, rocks to hide behind, and views of anyone coming towards them. A fine place to set up camp.

 

Ancient Graffitti

 

Now I look forward to celebrating the New Year with my friends from Coldwell Banker Enchantment Realty. We always have fun and tonight should be no different.

May you each find peace and joy in 2012.

 

 

 

4.41 miles / 2.5 hours

 

28 down / 72 to go

 

 

 

The petroglyphs are on the other side of these boulders

 

 

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Friday, December 30, 2011 – Back Roads of Fierro

Don’t ask me what trail we were on, ‘cause I don’t know. All I know is we parked past Fierro, in the same place as before and we walked the upper path. (see hike #18 – Saturday, November 26, 2011 – past Fierro – FR 4203E for more information)

I can’t find it on any of the maps, and it didn’t have a marker. We enjoyed slopping through the mud, playing in the snow, slipping on ice and crossing over some running brookettes. I was able to bring both Cody and Cisco since Aunt Margaret can help me corral them if need be. The dogs kept each other busy while Margaret and I talked the hike away. I’m getting used to the dogs sleeping at my feet as I write these blogs. Makes me happy to watch them dream.

At one point, we passed by a large hole with tailings next to it and some concrete structures; I assume this was part of the mining operations I saw last time. We also saw some prints in the snow of a turkey. A large, raptor-like print!

Please be a Turkey, and not the large Raptor I imagine!

Don’t let the photographs fool you into thinking it was cold – it was 60 degrees out there!

If I didn't know I was in New Mexico, I would have thought it was Colorado!

One last thought, I find these hikes to be helpful to my inner self. Perhaps it’s the fresh air; More likely, I find the company and conversation very enjoyable and relaxing.

2.19 miles / 2 hours

27 down / 73 to go

Thursday, December 22, 2011 – Bear Creek Road to Cherry Creek – The Gila National Forest

Little Cherry Creek - Gila National Forest

 

My Godson Pat came in from Los Angeles for Christmas and since he was game to be part of my challenge, we drove up to Bear Creek Road and walked it until it turned into a path and then down a slope until we hit Cherry Creek. We walked along the creek just to make 2 dogs very happy. The crunching of the snow and the bubbling of the brook was lovely.

 

Pat told me about his “Tough Mudder” experience. The past few hikes have felt like a tough mudder to me! I may have to try one of those – they sound like too much fun!

 

A cold run in Cherry Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was a real trooper; he only had on sneakers and light pants but he never complained about the cold, ankle deep snow. He even talked me into running up the last hill in the snow, just to get it over with! And so we did!

 

 

 

1.67 miles / 2 hours

 

26 down / 74 to go

Sunday, December 18, 2011 – Bear Mountain Road – Continental Divide Trail

On this foggy, damp day, Mary Ann and I took Cisco up the CD Trail starting at Bear Mountain Road. Almost immediately, we ran into a longhorn steer but couldn’t get a good photograph of him through the trees. We climbed through a muddy path with loose rocks – glad I’m in the habit of using a walking stick. About an hour or so up, we hit a beautiful meadow that Mary Ann had pointed out from Eighty Mountain last week. I was humming, “the hills are alive with the sound of music” while we enjoyed the alpine-like scenery.  The up and down mountain climbing gave us a good work-out.

 

A silly moment on top of a beautiful hill.

 

 

We crossed a road named 4083D and it intersected with a road named 858. We hope at one point during the next 75 to walk the CD Trail from Bear Mountain Road to Little Walnut Road. That will be a cool day!

 

The hills are alive with the sound of music.......

 

I’m very excited that I have completed 25% of my challenge. Only 75 more hikes to go. So far, this has been a very enjoyable, pleasant experience. I have a long list of hikes that I want to do again (and again and again!) and this is one of them!

 

 

I couldn't get this longhorn steer to look at me - too busy munching!

 

 

3.65 miles / 3 hours

 

25 down / 75 to go

Friday, December 16, 2011 – Gold Gulch Road

Gold Gulch Road is down on Highway 90, almost to Lordsburg. It is on the west side of the highway and is basically a sandy, bladed road. We walked a ways up the road and then saw the CD Trail so we took that for a ways and then circled back.

 

Gold Gulch Road Map

 

 

The terrain is rolling hills with scrub oak and low shrubbery. A small amount of snow and a large amount of sandy mud was on the ground.  Helen, Cody, Elsa and I enjoyed the scenery and rock hunting. We also heard that there were Indian shards to be found, but we didn’t see any. The wind was howling and the way back was chilly! On the Continental Divide Trail, we came to some cool rock outcroppings and had lunch nestled amongst the rocks.

Continental Divide Trail, off Gold Gulch Road

 

 

 

Views to the east / south

 

 

The Burro Mountains near Silver City, NM

 

 

I’m looking forward to hiking more in this area; there are many opportunities for hikes – Forest Roads, CD Trails, etc.

 

‘Tis the season for moisturizing cream! Lynn, you would have hated it! It reminded me of a walk a few years back!

 

Helen on the trail

 

 

 

2 Happy Tails on Gold Gulch Road

 

 

3.87 miles / 2 hours

 

24 down / 76 to go

Sunday, December 11, 2011 – Eighty Mountain – Silver City, NM

Good altitude today! We went from the parking lot at 6454 to the top of Eighty Mountain which is 7340. An 886 foot climb. And my knees and thighs can vouch for the challenge. This hike is part of the Gomez Peak trail system. It climbs up the north side of Eighty Mountain in a nice climb, until you hit the ascent to the top. For this out-of-shape hiker it was a challenge up the final part of the mountain – but one that was worth the effort. The views are magnificent! I remember the first time I climbed Gomez Peak and thought “these are the best views ever!” And then I climbed McComas and now Eighty. Those views are amazing! I saw angles of Gomez I never saw before, long-range views of the Mogollons to the west, monastery views and of course, a loooong range view of The Kneeling Nun.

 

The Gila National Forest

 

A snowy, northside ascent

 

Gomez Peak glistening with snow

 

 

 

These last few hikes in the snow have been great work-outs but also great for my mind. I find hiking in snow to be pleasantly calming and invigorating at the same time. I didn’t know that would happen. I really enjoy it. OMG – am I now hoping for more snow????

 

I am searching the internet and local contacts for how Eighty Mountain got its’ name. I’ll post it if I ever figure it out!

2.93 miles / 3.25 hours

 

23 down / 77 to go

 

 

The Mogollons are beautiful!

 

 

Descending.... that's Eighty Mountain in the background. Hey! I climbed that!

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 8, 2011 – Bear Creek Road

Bear Creek Road - Pinos Altos, New Mexico

 

 

The holidays are starting to affect my companion’s schedules; several people are out of town or on their way out. And so I hike alone. I noticed today that I am getting more comfortable hiking alone; when I first started, I was bored and a little anxious. Now, I am kinda enjoying the quiet. I stop and listen for a few moments. Walking in the snow brings me peace that I had forgotten about. I thought back to snow-filled memories, in Colorado and Vermont and New York State. I used to cross-country ski and hike and build forts and create angels. It was fun. Back to reality, I enjoyed today very much – until my ears got cold and my feet got wet. The workout is different too! My thighs ache right now.

 

I walked on Bear Creek Road where it enters the forest. Then I noticed someone’s foot prints off into the woods and I decided that I would check it out too. I enjoyed traipsing through the snow and among the trees. The other hiker had their dog (a good size one from the prints in the snow) and I regretted leaving Cody home. When I made it back to the road, I continued down and came to a fence and then either a damn or a large built-up (yet unused) road. I couldn’t tell because if it was a damn, there was no water and if it was a road, it was abandoned at some point – the fence stopped vehicle traffic. Walked further and then took another path off the road and into the woods. The calm was lovely.

 

A snowy hike north of Silver City

 

 

I tried to identify many tracks in the snow, mostly deer and some small guys – maybe fox or coyote. I was amused at their paths – not exactly direct!

2.06 miles – 2 hours

 

22 down / 78 to go

Sunday, December 4, 2011 –FR 506 – past Little Walnut Road

Forest Road 506

 

What 100 hike challenge would be complete without a snowy, muddy event?  We had 4-8 inches of snow Friday into Saturday and so I looked forward to hiking around in it a bit. Mary Ann, Cody and I stayed safe and walked on Forest Road 506; the idea of slipping or getting lost on one of the trails didn’t appeal to me. We enjoyed the evergreens covered with snow and walking on the snow covered road. It was great to see the water in the creeks, snow falling off the trees, and blue skies above. The cold air felt good in my lungs. It all reminded me of winter in New England where I did some cross-country skiing and hiking (but mostly hot toddies in front of fireplaces…..).

 

The temperature said it was 37 – but it felt warmer than that.

 

Cody needed to be sprayed down afterwards, she was covered in mud. I felt bad spraying her with cold water, but it had to be done. She sleeps and dreams at my feet as I write this.

 

I suddenly feel more ready for Christmas.

North of Silver City, NM - December 2011

 

4.06 miles – 2 hours

 

21 down / 79 to go

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 – Past Fierro

 

 

Since Elsa the dog was out of sorts, we didn’t want to go too far today. I told Helen about how much I enjoyed the Fierro hike and so we went over that way. She recalled an ATV ride she took in the area last spring and so off we went to explore.

 

I showed Helen where I hiked and then we continued on the dirt road until it got too rough for the car. We parked and geared up. We walked through a wonderful tree covered, creek meandering trail. Soon, we saw a butte to the right with gypsum showing through. Pictures attached. We walked on past the butte and up the creek. Soon it got too rugged for hiking and Helen thought she remembered there might be a lake on the far side of the butte. We came back and climbed up. We originally planned to make our way down to the box canyon and search out a lake, but it was quite a drop off. Instead, we bush wacked around the butte, Elsa leading the way most of time. We enjoyed some views while having lunch and then continued around the butte and down. Near the car, we saw a path and decided to explore. We checked out another creek and then climbed back to the car.

 

 

 

 

I was surprised and pleased that I found such a cool spot so close to home. The views, the ponderosa, the water filled creek all added to an enjoyable hike.

 

Fierro is definitely worth checking out – the mining history, the abandoned mines, the diverse landscape, an old cemetery and a cross on the hill that needs investigation. I look forward to more exploration of the area!

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, Elsa might have been sick earlier, but a hike in the woods today made her feel Go-od! She was energetic, hungry and happy! Way to suck it up, girl!

 

.94 miles (that’s ALL???) / 2.5 hours

 

 

20 down / 80 to go – 1/5th of the way!