Monthly Archives: August 2012

Hike #91 – Gila National Forest – Burro Mountains – Silby Road

The Louisiana Street Hiker’s Club

In a small town, you know most people through 3 different connections. Today’s hiking pals are such people. 1) I first met Liz and Joe through the Coldwell Banker office when they had us manage their rentals. 2) When Frank and I bought a triplex on Louisiana Street, we found out that Liz and Joe lived on one side of our building and owned a rental on the other side of our building. We were neighbors, kind of. 3) At the beginning of the year, a friend invited us to dinner and who was there? Liz and Joe!

So when I ran into Liz last week, she expressed interest in joining me on one of my 100 hikes. She is recovering from Hip Replacement surgery and was ready to get back to hiking. Which brings us to today’s hike. Although Liz is in great shape (she teaches aerobics and other classes), she wanted her first hike to be fairly level and of easier exertion.  I thought the Burro Mountain Homestead area might be in store. We could walk on the road, if necessary, or take one of the many side trail/forest roads. Me, Joe, Liz and Cody packed up the car and headed out.

When we reached Silby Road, we parked and headed out. The road quickly forked onto an old Forest Road, and we chose to head uphill on the smaller FR trail. The landscape was beautiful, with rolling hills, long-range views, interesting boulders and the occasional ranch fence line. I also saw two signs that I’ve never seen anywhere else: “No Shooting. Occupied Area. 150 Yards”. And another that said: “Fire Rescue Route” Those are 2 signs that hold important information! Thank you!

Towards the end of the hike, we ended up back on the road and a nice gentleman hauling a saddled horse stopped for a chat. He gave us some ideas of some cool hikes in the area. Thank you sir! We’ll be back again!

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3.89 Miles / 2.0 Hours

91 down /9 to go

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Hike #90 – Gila National Forest – FR 4246B

Sheep Corral Canyon Rd – to Forest Road 4246B

I’M IN THE SINGLE DIGITS! WOOT WOOT!

The girls and I decided it would be fun to go for a hike and then go to the new Little Toad Creek Inn for lunch. We drove up to Sheep Corral Canyon Rd and walked into the woods to the left – where in the past we’ve always walked to the right. It was a good climb uphill and then along one of the many ridges. Again it was mostly pine trees and shade. We eventually connect to FR 3131 where my last hike left off. We head down the opposite direction of 3131 and wind up back on Sheep Corral Canyon Road and decide to cross over and head up another trail (876, I think). We quickly run into a man with his dog and then further up we reach the Helicopter Pad and Lookout Point so named for good reason; there are beautiful views to the north.

Along the way we see old building foundations and stairs. It’s strange to be in the woods and come across cement stairs just sitting there alone. On the way back to the car we also see a small herd of deer in the distance. They disappeared before we were in camera range. Darn.

After our hike we drove up to the restaurant and have a wonderful lunch – I had the Asian Chicken Salad which was very good. They have many interesting things on the menu that I want to try, so we may have ourselves a new tradition!

 

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5.25 Miles / 4.0 Hours

90 down /10 to go

Hike #89 – Gila National Forest – FR 4257H to FR 3131

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 – Highway 15 to Mile Marker 16

As I type in “Hike #89” above, I’m tickled that I have 11 left! I keep checking my calendar that I’m on track, and then double checking. The hiker’s neuroses (or is that neurosi?).

Sharon and I saw a bunch of side roads off Highway 15 since we’ve been driving it regularly now. So today we drove to an area that had several side roads – Mile Marker 16 (is that like Area 51???).  We see a Forest Service Marker 4257H and head up the hill. There is one road to the left and one to the right. We take the left one which goes upward about 300 yards and then loops directly back onto itself. Alrighty, we’ll take the one to the right then.  This one goes up and down several ravines and has lots of pine trees and grasses. We pass two stock tanks and start understanding who’s using this road the most: ranchers. We laugh at a couple of possible slips in the mud that could have been more dirty than funny; it’s been raining regularly for several days.

This trail heads north and eventually come out at Sheep Corral Canyon Road. It is well shaded with many pine trees and tall grasses making it green. There is one area that has huge boulders and one has a pretty sheer cliff face. We decide that we should check it out for Indian activity. But when we walk around it, we realize the rock is somewhat soft and if there were any pictographs, they’ve sloughed off long ago. On top of the boulder, we see round circular patterns that we think have to do with Indians, but it’s hard to tell. What do you think?

On the way back we see many tiny horny toads in the path; the rains must have brought them out. We see about 10 of them!

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5.24 Miles / 3.75 Hours

89 down /11 to go

Hike #88 – Elephant Butte – Cowboy Action Shoot

 

For the first time in the 12 years that we’ve lived here, we are visiting Elephant Butte and attending a Cowboy Action Shoot at the range of the our friends, The Monticello Range Riders. While Chico Cheech (aka Frank) tried his hand at the long range lever action rifle targets, I took the dogs in the opposite direction for a hike among the sand dunes (we didn’t want to be mistaken for the long distance targets after all!!). We saw a few lizards and had chase on a few jack rabbits – the wild life winning out over lethargic dogs.

We headed out in the direction of the lake and quickly detour off the trail and through the sand dunes. There is very little brush out here and I was humming “tumblin’ tumble weeds” (that’s Russian Thistle) for much of the way. I was able to take several long range photos of the mountains and lake along the way. Thank goodness there was cloud cover or this one would have been hotter than my liking!

I’m pretty sure this hike was my lowest altitude hike coming in at 4515.

 

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4.09 Miles / 2.0 Hours

88 down /12 to go

 

Hike #87 – Sheep Corral Canyon Rd – side trails – Gila National Forest

August 14, 2012 – FR 4247L and trails around it

Sharon, Cody and I drove up Highway 15 to Sheep Corral Canyon Rd and drove back about 4.2 miles. We hiked from there in a combination of road, trail and old wagon roads. Sharon really liked the landscape which was mostly hilly with many ponderosa pine trees. There was also some thorny bugger of a bush that I’m still carving out of my calf.  We came across a few ravines, many downed trees that are ready for firewood harvesting, one old gnarly tree that resembled a door for forest elves, and several beautiful long-range views. When we got back to the car, we decided to drive farther up the main road “just to see” what was up there. We came across a man on horseback with 2 dogs – sure looked like a cowboy doing his 9-5 to me!

There are many beautiful trails and road to explore up this road and I look forward to doing more in the near future!

As my challenge winds down – only 13 more to go – I am thinking about what’s next. I definitely enjoy a challenge and would like to do another one, although not the same one. I’m thinking about two options. 1) A “500 Mile Challenge” that could include: walking, hiking and bicycling. This would involve about 10 miles a week. I also would want to be allowed to duplicate locations. 2) The other challenge I’m thinking of is “100 Walks in a Year” which consists of hikes and walking on black top and cement. I could walk around town, walk to Tyrone from my house, etc. I think a 2 hour time minimum would be appropriate. Anybody have any suggestions or preferences?

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4.4 Miles / 3.0 Hours

87 down /13 to go

Hike #86 – CD Trail from Highway 15 to Webb Gulch

August 7, 2012 – Happy Birthday, Kristen!

Our through hike today took a little coordinating. Sharon’s husband drove us to our access point for the CD Trail on Highway 15 – just past the Arrastra site. Frank planned to pick us up between 1-3 at the Jones’ house. Our plan was to hike the Continental Divide Trail from Highway 15 to our friend’s house off of Webb Gulch; we estimated it was approximately 6-8 miles.

This trail is a beauty as you walk through tall pines and creeks, on old roads, and then come up to views of the monastery and the Gila National Forest. It has a lot of up and downs, which didn’t bother me yesterday, but my legs do feel it today. We also saw evidence of old mining activity, bear scat and a turkey that had a VERY bad day recently.  Later, when our friends mentioned that they had mountain lion activity in the area, we think we know what happened to that turkey!

We had many views of “Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery”. They have quite an operation up there; we saw gardens, barns, a large water tank and several other buildings. The trail came around to the north of their property and then swung down to the south so we really did see much of their beautiful set-up.

This portion of the CD Trail is maintained by Bob G. who lives in the area. The trail is made up of old roads and trails and is well marked.

I was a little concerned about locating the spot where we turn off to get to the Jones’. I had been there on June 3rd with Vicki and thought I would remember the trail. When we got in the area, sure enough, I saw the turn off and we headed up a slope. Soon we came to a fence and newer looking gate, but it didn’t look familiar and I felt like we were off course. I called Margaret and we soon had neighbor Bob on his ATV to guide us back. Frank and Jim were even saddled up ready to come to show us the way. Luckily, we huffed and puffed up the last hill to their house before they headed out. In looking back, I made the call too soon. It was only 12:30 in the afternoon; I could see their house marked on my GPS. If we knocked around some more up there, we would have found the hidden trail and gotten to them easily. {I learned that it’s very hard to get directions from someone when you’re out in the woods. How do you describe where you are? “I’m at a fence with a lot of trees around it”?????} A second option was to stay on the CD Trail and take it to FR 506 which connects to their road.

Once we were back on track, we were able to check out “Tin Town”, an old mining enclave, which I describe in my June 3rd post (hike #63).

The map that is included in the photos shows most of our trip; it’s the line in red. We went from the eastern most part to the spot where is says ‘Water’.

All in all, it was a great hike that I look forward to doing again!

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6.40 Miles / 4.5 Hours

86 down /154to go

Hike #85 – Sheep Corral Canyon – Trail #231; Gila National Forest

A.K.A. Hot and Sweaty!

Sheep Corral Canyon Rd is about 24 miles north of Highway 180 in Silver City.

I have to be honest; summer is my least favorite time of year for hiking. It’s hot, sweaty, and sticky {but that won’t stop me}. Mary Ann, Dora, Cody and I drove up to Sheep Corral Canyon and parked up a few miles – not to the end. We hiked on Trail 231 for several miles and enjoyed the shaded mountainsides as we ambled up the trail. This area feels more remote than other trails and we see no one except for two large cows. This was quite up and down and our calves felt it on the way home!

What is it about today that we saw MANY cars on Highway 15 on our way back? Going both north and south! Everybody was out for a drive! We saw cars parked at most of the stops – Signal Peak Rd, the Signal Peak/Tadpole Ridge pull off, the CD Trail pull off – EVERYbody was out today!

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5.71 miles /3.75 hours

85 down /15 to go