Hike #69 – Meadow Creek – FR 4255F – Gila National Forest, near Silver City, NM

June 23, 2012

Continuing my exploration up Highway 15, I went to Meadow Creek today with Cody dog. We walked Forest Road 4255F which meandered uphill and along a ridge through a lovely pine forest with occasional views of Scotts Peak. There must have been some thinning, because I saw lots of stumps throughout the hike. There is plenty more to explore farther up the main road; I only drove about 1.5 miles up the main road.

I must have woken up too early, because I forgot my vest with my GPS, camera and dog supplies in it. It sat at home right near the car, all packed and ready to go. So the reason the photographs are so poor, is I took them with my phone.

Something I learned on a previous hike (#67): when you have a lot of switchbacks on the trail, it can wreak havoc on the GPS map. It looks like you’ve been crossing back and forth across your own path, forgetting briefly that your trail is 3 dimensional and the GPS map just 2.

That had me thinking about the fact that I’ve learned so many things in the past months. I’ve lived here for 12 years and never knew that there were so many beautiful trails, fascinating geological highlights, captivating human history to find here.

On one recent hike, we heard loud clicking. My companion and I thought at first that it was the clicking of rain drops. We put out our hands to feel the rain but there was none. I later learned that it was ‘click beetles”. I had never heard them before.

I’ve also learned about preparedness and safety. What to bring with me, how to mark a trail so you can find your way back, how Advil will help with sore knees, and a fishing vest makes a great carry all! I know how to find water and how very difficult it would be to do so, so be prepared and bring enough water. Being out in the forest has also made me curious to learn more about survival techniques and forest management.

I’ve learned about people who have lived in this area including Indians, miners and ranchers.  How miners panned and dug deep for gold all over these mountains. I’ve seen how and where they lived in the wilderness. I’ve seen evidence of Indians and I’ve avoided cattle so as to not disturb local rancher’s livelihoods.

I learned that yarrow grows in the wild; how did I not know that? I learned that my car gets filthy from all these dirt roads. I learned that active dogs need more baths.

To get a little reflective, I’ve learned about me too. I learned to write slightly better than I could, to take a photograph slightly better than I could, to work a technical instrument a lot better than I could (thank you GPS!), a few survival skills which will hopefully never be needed, that my reflexes work under duress (thinking of the wolf encounter here), that my legs look good when they’re in shape and that hiking is not a good way to lose weight, especially when you eat chocolate on the trail.


2.5 miles /2.25 hours

69 down / 31 to go


About Gila Hiker

First I hiked 100 different trails in a year, now I write a monthly article in Desert Exposure about a local hike. Come on out to Silver City..... and bring your hiking gear!

Posted on June 23, 2012, in Challenge, Gila National Forest, Hiking, Nature, New Mexico, Outdoor Activities, Outdoors, Silver City, Southwest and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. a fishing vest! yes! i thought i was the only hiker who used a fishing vest instead of a backpack. i really prefer the vest because everything is always accessible. it gets a little hot in the summer, however.

  2. oh, and some gardening trivia, the wire worm, scourge of root vegetables everywhere, is the larva of the click beetle.

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