April 2014 – Flying Saucer Hike
Are you coming here to record your guess? Put it in a ‘comment’ attached to this post. And thanks for stopping by!
Susan and Tom Lynch
My first impression when I met Susan and Tom Lynch was that here are two happy, in love people. They live south of town where they grow much of their own vegetables, raise chickens and enjoy retirement. They are creative people who hand painted their walking sticks and knitted their own warm, wool hats. When not busy in the garden, you might find them playing pool at the Senior Center or hiking on Boston Hill with their dog, Gus.
They also hike often in the Burro Mountains south of Silver City and since it’s one of the areas I want to learn more about, I was eager to get in touch with them through mutual friends. When I asked about one of their favorite trails, they offered this option if I agreed to keep the trail’s namesake a mystery and encourage hikers to get out and discover what it is for themselves.
Intrigued enough to go for this hike yet? Read on………
Describe one of your favorite hikes that you’d like to share with the readers:
Name: Flying Saucer Trail, Burro Mountains
Distance: 2+ miles round trip
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Directions: Starting at the corner of Broadway and Highway 90 (a.k.a. Hudson St.), take Highway 90 south 11.3 miles to Tyrone Thompson Road (if you pass MM 30, you passed it). Make right on to Tyrone Thompson Road and drive 7.6 miles. On the left you will see a Forest Road sign for Forest Road 4090C. Pull into parking area on left.
Hike Description: Take Forest Road 4090C for 1 mile to see the Flying Saucer. Please note that at the .66 mile mark, there is a road to the left labeled FR4248Y. Stay to the right for this hike and shortly pass by a green wildlife water tank. From there the road veers to the left and uphill. At the .96 mark there is a bifurcation (okay, I’m showing off the new word Tom taught me, it’s a fork in the road). Stay to the right here also. Soon afterwards you will see the “Flying Saucer” on your right.
The trail is a shaded, mildly sloping walk on a dirt road through pine trees and other low brush. You will enjoy glimpses of long range views and interesting rock formations along the way.
Notes: If you would like to take a longer hike, there are several side trails to explore, or you can continue past the ‘Saucer” and hike further up the hill.
What piece of equipment can you not hike without? Tom explains, “Our 2 year old dog, a Coonhound / Catahoula mix named ‘Gus’ always wears a “Sport Dog” brand GPS Tracking System when we are out in the woods. It consists of a handheld wireless device that allows us to see where and how far he is from us, and a collar unit that is waterproof. It has a range of up to 7 miles, has rechargeable batteries and a variety of stimulation levels and types for training. We like it for our piece of mind. If he gets too far away, we can call him back verbally or with a tone transmitted through the system. We can see if he is stationary which would indicate he may be in trouble and we can get to him to help, like the time he got tangled up in some fencing.”
I did some investigation into this product and find that there are numerous brands, options and price points for these. It can be as simple as a beeper system (price around $100.) to a deluxe system with beacon lights, expansion packages for multiple dogs, waypoint storage capabilities and more for $400-500. There are smart phone apps also available. These units are used for training a dog, tracking a dog and hunting with a dog.
Want to know what the Flying Saucer actually is? Come to: https://100hikesinayear.wordpress.com/ on May 1, 2014 to find out. It will also be printed in the May 2014 “Desert Exposure” at the end of my 100 Hikes article.
The reveal of what the “Flying Saucer” from my April 2014 column really is: Russell Ward of the Gila National Forest explains, “The fiberglass dome is actually a water collection and disbursement device called a ‘Wildlife Guzzler’ [picturd below left]. Many were installed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the Gila National Forest, mostly in remote areas that are extremely dry. Rain or snow hits the fiberglass top and runs down the sides and collects in a tank under the dome. Water is then disbursed to the trough on the side where animals may drink.”