Blog Archives

January 2016 – Nature Conservancy Land – Mimbres

Marilyn Markel – Nature Conservancy Land – Mimbres

If you want to meet fascinating people, I suggest that you start hiking and writing articles. Once again I got lucky and heard about this interesting woman who is an archeologist, is involved with the Mattocks Ruins in the Mimbres and who agreed to hike with me. Marilyn Markel is a native New Mexican who graduated from The University of New Mexico and currently keeps busy with The Mimbres Culture Heritage Site – Mattocks Ruins (MCHS), teaches at Aldo Leopold once a week, facilitates with the WILL Program, and is president of the Grant County Archaeological Society.

We hiked recently at the Nature Conservancy’s Mimbres land which is 600 acres of riparian delight. The property, which was established as Nature Conservancy land in 1994, includes 5 miles of Mimbres River and is home to the endangered Chihuahua chub (fish) and the Chiricahua leopard frog.

It has a diverse landscape including forest, savanna, grasslands, cienegas (marshes), springs and stream. It’s a beautiful place, even in the winter, so lace up those boots!

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Hike Name:  The Nature Conservancy – Mimbres Valley

Distance:  2+ miles

Difficulty: easy, but wet

Directions: From the intersection of 180 and 152, turn North onto Highway 152 north and drive 14 miles to Highway 35. Make a left onto Highway 35 north and drive for approximately 8.5 miles. There will be a steep, rutted driveway on the right. Pull in the driveway and park. If you pass 3448 Highway 35, you just missed it.

Hike Description: Start the hike by walking through the gate on the left. It is facing the barn, which dates to the 1890’s. Follow the path to the river. When you pass by the old saw, stop for a moment and realize that this saw probably cut the wood for the barn you parked near. Cross the river and maneuver (no trail visible here) through the trees and then the field until you pick up the old military road at the base of the hills. Walk on the road for the remainder of the hike.

Notes: 

Come to terms with the fact that you’re feet are going to get wet on this hike and prepare ahead. I suggest you place dry socks and shoes in your vehicle. Marilyn was smarter than me and brought old shoes in her backpack and changed before we entered the water.

The word ‘Mimbres’ means ‘willow’ in Spanish and I saw a few desert willows still sporting green leaves while we were there.

Before our hike, Marilyn gave me a tour of the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site.

The site, which is owned by the Imogene F. Wilson Education Foundation, contains a 1000 year old, 200 room Mimbres pueblo ruin which was built on top of an earlier pit house village. It is estimated that approximately 90 people lived here.

The property also contains 2 adobe buildings dating from the 1880’s which have their own interesting history including murder, insanity, and jail escapes. Over time, the site has been improved and now includes a small museum and a walking path with interpretive sign boards explaining the ruin layout and lives of the people who resided there. The museum resides in one of the adobe buildings, called the Gooch House. In addition to local Native American history, the museum also contains more recent history including mining and ranching in the area. Be sure to spend a few minutes looking at the photos from the early 1900’s.

It’s a great site for learning about Native Americans. Beloit College in Wisconsin, The University of Nevada – LV, The University of Texas, and Oregon State University have either  conducted summer field schools where pottery and other artifacts have been excavated at the site or, they used MCHS as a base camp when they were working at other sites in the Valley. Local grade school kids come to learn the history and are encouraged to imagine how life was 1000 years ago. I really like that there are pottery sherds in the museum for the kids to inspect and touch.

If you go out to the Mimbres, plan to stop at the MCHS and check it out. It is open from 11:00-3:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is located between mile marker 3 and 4 on Highway 35, just past the Mimbres Café, approximately 5 miles south of the Nature Conservancy property.

Do you have any suggestions for visitors to the ruins?

“It’s important for visitors to leave artifacts where they belong. As soon as it’s moved or removed, the information that goes with them is lost.”

November 2015 – Georgetown Road – FR 4085I

I have been hiking with Dora Hosler since we met in 2011. I love her story of coming to the United States because it is millions of immigrants’ story.  She was raised in a small village two hours from Chihuahua City, Mexico where she and her siblings spent the mornings in school and the afternoons milking cows, feeding chickens and pigs, and playing.

After begging her parents to let her come, she moved to Silver City with a cousin and got a job. She has worked at various jobs in Silver City, a place that she loves for its’ small town flavor, friendly people and because “it feels like home”.  In 2008 she achieved a hard-won goal of becoming a U.S. citizen. She is an especially pleasant and kind woman, and a strong, easy-going hiker.

I remember one hike when I tried to help her pronounce the ‘Z’ sound and I couldn’t understand her difficulty until she tried to teach me to roll my R’s and she didn’t understand how I couldn’t do it. The wildlife in the area must have been rolling with laughter listening to us.

When I recently asked her which of our many hikes her favorite was, she replied that she really enjoyed climbing to the top of Signal Peak because she was proud to complete a steep, difficult hike which that one certainly is. I call it the ‘knee-buster’ because afterwards, I limped for three days! She also enjoyed climbing the Forest Fire Tower and talking with the lookout on duty who was kind enough to give us a 360 degree tour of our hiking terrain, and explain how the alidade (fire finder) works.

For this article, we drove out to the mining district and hiked in the Georgetown area. It’s a good hike if you’re short on time but still want to get some soil underfoot.

 

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Name:  Georgetown Road – FR 4085I

Distance:  various

Difficulty: easy

Directions: Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 180, take Hwy. 180 East to Hwy. 152 (7.3 miles). Turn left (north) onto Hwy. 152 and drive 6.3 miles to Georgetown Road. Turn left on Georgetown Road (a very well-maintained dirt road). Take this 3.9 miles to an intersection where the cemetery is. Make a right and immediately you will see FR 4085I. Park on the right.

Hike Description: This is an easy walk along Lampbright Draw. The road may disappear now and then, but is easily picked up again. Look closely to find evidence of this area’s history, primarily mining and ranching. Once you walk past the corrals and windmill (approximately ¾ of a mile), the road is harder to find. We walked along an arroyo to complete our days’ exercise.

A little about the town of Georgetown:  The town grew out of silver mining in the area in the 1870’s and at its peak, had 1200 residents. Imagine churches, schools and adobe brick homes on the north side of town, a business district in the center with general stores, a butcher shop, a harness shop, restaurants, a hotel, a billiard parlor, and more, and then on the south side were miner’s shanties, saloons and ‘bawdy houses’. Military from surrounding forts would periodically be seen to keep the town safe from Apache attacks.

There’s some discrepancy about how the town got its’ name. The Magruder Brothers were mining here and they had come from Georgetown, Washington DC so that is one theory. But George Magruder was killed in a milling accident on the Mimbres River so some believe that the remaining brother named the town for his brother George.

Enjoy hiking in the area and contemplating how life may have been a short 140 years ago. For more details about the Georgetown area, check out my blog post:

https://100hikesinayear.wordpress.com/?s=Georgetown

Fun fact: oro in Spanish is gold; plata is silver; cobre in copper. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve lived here 15 years and didn’t know that until recently………

This article was originally published in: “The Independent” on November 26, 2015.

May 2015 – Black Hawk Canyon

Many times while hiking, I find myself quizzically inspecting an unidentified geological formation, examining an interesting rock, or stumped on how a white line of quartz got in the middle of the earth, marked there like nature’s 50 yard line. I wanted to learn more about the geology I’ve been seeing on my hikes and so, after some digging, I was put in touch with local hiker Lee Stockman of the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society. He has been interested in geology his entire life and told me that he looks at rocks with a chemists’ eye since that’s what he did for a living – a chemist at the water treatment department in Antioch, Ca. To emphasize his love of Geology, on the car ride to the trailhead, he pulls out a rock sample and shows his passengers. It is smooth and grey and has glittering silver specks throughout it. It turns out to be a sample of Native Silver from the Alhambra Mine which is very close to where we will be hiking today. I just got my first, but not last Geology lesson of the day. I wish I had this man for a science teacher all those years ago!

Lee hikes every week with a group of like-minded people and he offered to let me join them. Throughout the morning, Lee shares various interesting tidbits. When the group inspects white lines through a huge granite wall, he explains. “The granite cracked and super-heated water carrying minerals rose through the cracks. The water cooled and left the minerals in the cracks forming the lines we see today”.

On the trail, various rock specimens were passed around the group and inspected. “That’s a unakite – you can tell by the green stripes and the pink feldspar throughout it.”

At one point, a few hikers surround a green plant in the middle of the arroyo. They’re not seen often around here. The group calls out to Richard Felger, the resident botanist. “That’s a Desert Broom, Baccharis sarothroides.”

Describe one of your favorite hikes that you’d like to share with the readers:

Name: Black Hawk Canyon Loop

Distance: various

Difficulty: moderate

Directions: From the intersection of Highways 180 and 90, take Highway 180 West 12.9 miles to Saddlerock Canyon Road (on south side of highway). This road is close to Mile Marker 100 and is right after Mangus Valley Road. Make a left on Saddlerock Canyon Rd. Track your mileage from the highway turnoff. Travel on dirt road for 1.3 miles and go over the cattle guard. At the 1.4 mile mark (mm), the dirt road divides. Stay to the left. At the 1.5 mile mark there will be another fork. Stay left. At the 4.3 mm, stay straight. There are several side roads; when in doubt, stay on the main road. At the 5.2 mm, you will come to a closed gate. Go through the gate, closing it behind you, and continue on. The road peters out around the 6.4 mile mark. The hike starts here.

 

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Hike Description: Before starting the hike, look to the left and see a washed out dirt road going up a hill. If you’re positioned correctly, you’ll see some old mining equipment. This is where you will come out from this loop trail. Now start your hike by walking straight up the arroyo and into Black Hawk Canyon. Soon you leave the sandy creek bottom and begin to climb across the water worn granite. This granite intrusion (dated at 1.445 Billion Years old) raised the Burro Mountains. There is usually water here even during the dry season so look for paw prints of the wildlife who inhabit this part of the Burro Mountains. At the .78 mm, there is a side road that leads to the old Alhambra Mine. Make a note to go back and check it out sometime. Continue straight until you reach the .93 mm. To the left is FR 130. This is the road that loops you back to the car. But first, walk straight ahead on FR 4242Q for a while and enjoy a pink granite canyon. When you’re ready, come back to the road and take it up a hill. When you reach a ‘T’ in the trail, turn left. Towards the end of the hike you’ll come to your last fork. Make a hard left and head down hill past the Black Hawk mine.

Notes: There will be some mild rock climbing and muddy spots along the first portion of the hike. At a few spots you will enjoy views of Bullard Peak. Expect to encounter cattle. They like to have their pictures taken, so ask them to smile. Several hikers mentioned previous kudamundi sightings in this area.

History lesson: The mining town of Black Hawk appeared in the 1880’s when silver was discovered in the area. The discovery of the Black Hawk Mine, and several others in the area, saw the beginning of the town. In the summer of 1883 the town had approximately 30 men employed in mining. By the end of the same year, there was close to 125, and the town was large enough to include a post office. In the late 1880’s production declined and the town was vacated. Today, hardly any evidence of the town exists. By the end, the Black Hawk Mine had produced one million worth of silver.

What can a reader do to learn more about the minerals in our area? Lee encourages readers to attend a meeting of the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society. The meetings are on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Silver City Senior Citizens Center (204 West Victoria at south end of town off of NM 90). A pot luck precedes the meeting at 6:00 pm. The meeting begins at 6:45 pm and is followed by an educational program.

February 2015 – Apache Mountain

Hiking Apache Mountain with Russ Kleinman

A sprained ankle and knee delayed my hike with retired surgeon, Russ Kleinman, but when I finally made it a few weeks later, it was fantastic!

Russ has been enjoying the outdoors since about the age of 4 when he roamed land near his home and later explored the San Gabriel Mountains outside Los Angeles.

Nowadays, he enjoys many outdoor-related activities including shortwave radio operation, dog agility training, hiking, camping and botany. He teaches a plant taxonomy class at WNMU (the science that finds, identifies, describes, classifies, and names plants). Mosses are his current interest, which he demonstrated along the hike by regularly crawling beneath brush and boulders. He wore a magnifying loupe around his neck and showed me the mosses up close. I was surprised to see the different varieties, which looked the same at first, were vastly different when inspected through the magnifier.

If you’re interested in the vegetation of the Gila, a wonderful resource is gilaflora.com, a website by Russ with more than 16,000 photographs, locations and information about the plants in our area.

Describe one of your favorite hikes that you’d like to share with the readers…

Name: Apache Mountain

Distance:
2.6 miles round trip

Difficulty: hard

Directions: Starting at the intersection of highways 180 and 90, drive south on Highway 90 for 30.4 miles (it is just after mile marker 11). Make a left onto WD Ranch Rd. There is a brown forest sign for Forest Road 841 to verify you’re on the right track. The first mile of this road is public access over privately owned land, so please stay on the road and don’t trespass. At the one-mile mark, you will go over a cattle guard and enter National Forest land. When you reach a fork in the road, turn left. Shortly, (a few hundred yards) you will come to a turn-off on the right hand side. Look through the grasses and find a brown forest service marker for Forest Road 40910. Pull in and park (do not block the road).

Hike Description: The first part of this hike is a gradual climb on an old dirt road alongside of Monarch Canyon. At the one-mile mark, you will reach a saddle where you can look down the other side into Apache Canyon. Here is where you leave the road and follow the fence line upward. There is a trail in some spots; when in doubt, I suggest you head upward.

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Notes: Don’t try to drive up FR 40910; it is heavily rutted in several spots. This is a short, steep hike up to the top of Apache Mountain. You will climb 1,383 feet up and be rewarded with unbelievable views. On the day we went, we actually looked down at clouds and had one move past us while sitting on the summit.

Along the way, you will see several large boulders and long veins of white quartz, something I’ve not seen often in this abundance in the Gila.

During the hike, Russ told me several hiking adventures, including this story:

“I enjoyed snow camping for a long time and one trip included crossing the Gila River. I knew enough to sleep with my water bottle underneath me in my tent to avoid having ice the next morning. But this trip, I learned another lesson. I took off my cold, wet boots and placed them outside the tent. The next morning, I found them frozen rock solid. A harsh lesson was learned that morning as I hopped barefoot around the snow, looking for dry wood to start a campfire. Thawing my boots was a bit like toasting marshmallows; I didn’t want to put them too close to the fire or they’d burn, and too far away and they’d never thaw.”

After I expressed my aversion to the thought of camping in snow, Russ responded, “Snow camping isn’t for everyone; it leaves a very narrow margin for error.”

Do you have a piece of equipment that you use often when hiking?

Russ shows me his map app called “Backcountry Navigator Pro.” It’s an Android mobile mapping application where you can download different types of maps including topographical, color aerial, street maps and more. You can mark waypoints, record tracks, compute trip pace, utilize a compass, keep waypoint lists, record trip stats, save, export, and import trip notes for future reference and more. I’m not the most technically literate person, but this new stuff is excellent so I guess I’ll get dragged into the tech age, hiking and climbing the entire way!

In order to intrigue you, I’ll share some hearsay about a mystery in the area. Through much digging, and an interesting conversation with local rancher Jimmy Stewart, I learned the following:

The WD in “WD Ranch Road” stands for Will Dover, who was one of about six ranchers who owned property in that area. In the late 1800s/early 1900s he ranched in the Apache Canyon area, including the peak. It is rumored that he got into a dispute with one of the other ranchers and disappeared … never to be heard from again.

 

December 2013 – Sheridan Corral Trail #181

Distance: Various
Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Directions: Beginning at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 180 West in Silver City, drive west on Hwy. 180 for 51.9 miles. On your right, you will see a dirt road labeled CO54 (it is just after the Aldo Leopold turnoff, which is on the left). Turn right onto CO54 and drive 3.8 miles to the end. You will see a Trailhead marker and other Forest Service signs there.

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  Hike Description: This trail is well worth the drive. You will enjoy amazing views, a pleasant walk along Sheridan Gulch and a section of the 2012 burn area. When you first get on the trail, you will see a sign that says, “Trail not maintained difficult to find.” You will experience sections of loose, slippery rock and erosion of trail. A few spots have loose rock along steep ledges. Please please please be careful. This trail is for the sure-footed. If you’re like me, you’ll take this as a challenge and you’ll go and discover this gem.

Up approximately two miles you’ll come to an intersection of Trail 181 (left) and Trail 225 (right). Trail 225 will take you uphill and on to Skunk Johnson’s cabin. Enjoy exploring this area of our great wilderness.

Notes: You will spend some time picking through the creek bed, so be patient and enjoy it. I spoke with the Reserve Forest Ranger and he said there are no plans to maintain this trail in the near future, so you should expect to climb over dead trees and such. If you want to go to Skunk Johnson cabin, it is a 10.6-mile round-trip hike. Several guide books and websites describe it as “difficult.”

Helpful Hint: If you brought it in, bring it out!

 

This is a repost of an article that originally appeared in “Desert Exposure”. Check them out at: http://www.desertexposure.com/100hikes/

September 2013 – Forest Road 4246, Burro Mountains

Name: Forest Road 4246, Burro Mountains

Distance: Various

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Directions: From the intersection of Highway 90 and Highway 180, drive west on 180 12.8 miles. Turn left onto Mangus Valley Road. Go 4.6 miles and turn right onto Red Rock Road. At the 2.4-mile mark, you will cross over a cattle guard and the road turns into a well-maintained dirt road. At the 3.2-mile mark, turn left onto T-T Road (aka T Bar T). Go 0.9 mile to the end of this road and turn left. Go 0.2 mile and you will reach another cattle guard. After the cattle guard, turn right onto Forest Road 819. Go 0.3 miles and park. You will see a dirt road on both sides of the road. This article describes the hike to the right, which is Forest Road 4246. (As of this February there was no Forest Road sign at this location, but you will see several markers along the trail.)

Hike Description: The road goes through a sandy area and then starts a gentle and steady climb upwards. There are striking long-range views of Jack’s Peak, the Mogollons, the Tyrone Mine and more along the way and lots of wildlife evidence and sightings (if you’re quiet enough). This appears to be a well-used trail as we saw foot prints, tire tracks and two ATVers on the trail. The terrain is rolling hills with piñon, juniper and scrub oak.

Notes: There are several interesting trails in this vicinity. Enjoy exploring them during the cooler months.

Helpful Hint: It’s hunting season. Wear bright colors; put bright colors on your pets. I buy bright orange T-shirts at one of the secondhand stores in town for my dogs.

 

This blog is a repost of an article that originally appeared in “Desert Exposure”. Check them out at:

http://www.desertexposure.com/index.php

 

March 2013 – Georgetown Road – FR 4085L

Name: Georgetown Road — Forest Road 4085L

Distance: Various

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Directions: Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Hwy. 180, take Hwy. 180 East to Hwy. 152 (7.3 miles). Turn left (north) onto Hwy. 152 and drive 6.3 miles to Georgetown Road. Turn left on Georgetown Road (a very well-maintained dirt road). Travel 1.5 miles to a cattle guard. Right after the cattle guard, on your left, you’ll see FR 4085L. There is a sign for it.

Hike Description: In this hike you will experience a lot of up and down hill terrain. It is nicely treed with the typical juniper, scrub oak and pines. I like this area because there’s a lot to enjoy: wildlife, views of the Kneeling Nun and Gila National Forest, ranch activity and mining history. It’s also close enough to town that you can get there quickly. Keep track of which trail you’re on because there are many intersecting trails and forest roads back there (all worth exploring).

Notes: If you’re interested in area history, you may want to check out the following locations along Georgetown Road:
1. When you turn in from Hwy. 152, go just 0.4 miles. On your left you will see an old cemetery. There are interesting markers to check out.
2.  If you continue on Georgetown Road (past FR 4085L), at the 3.9-mile mark you will see another cemetery. (For more on this historic cemetery, see “Grave Undertaking,” Desert Exposures – November 2007 Tumbleweeds.)
3. At the 4.5-mile mark you can park the car and explore the old building foundations and mining remnants.
4. At the 4.9-mile mark, you’ll come to the Georgetown Cabins. They have an informative sign on the right that describes the history of this area and other points of interest. (For more on the cabins, see “High-Tech Hideaway,” Desert Exposure – September 2009 Tumbleweeds.)
5. Continue to explore down the side trails and you’ll be rewarded with various mining-activity remnants. Cool stuff!

Helpful Hint: The more you know about your hiking area (desert, shaded, mountainous, rocky, water nearby, etc.), the better prepared you can be. For example, if the trail has lots of loose rocks, you may want to bring hiking poles and wear hiking boots that support your ankles.

This is a repost of an article that originally appeared in Desert Exposure. Check them out at:

http://www.desertexposure.com

February 2013 – Saddle Rock Canyon Road

Name: Saddlerock Canyon Road

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From the intersection of Hwy. 180 and Hwy. 90, take Hwy. 180 west 12.9 miles to Saddlerock Canyon Road (on the south side of the highway). This road is close to mile marker 100 and is right after Mangus Valley Road. Travel on the dirt road for 1.3 miles to where the Gila National Forest sign will be. Soon after the sign, the dirt road divides. Stay to the right. You know you are correct if you see cattle corrals to your left (a few minutes up the road). Soon you will enjoy interesting rock formations. Continue on this road until you reach the green gate (a mile or two). Park.

Hike Description: Walk through the green gate and hike up the trail until you see the “Riparian Area” sign (a 5-10 minute walk). If you go straight, you will soon enjoy the canyon with little waterfalls (seasonal). If you go to the right, there is a lovely trail through sandy areas, groves of trees and mild hills. Once in the canyon, you’ll also see the distinctive saddle-shaped rock that gives the canyon its name. You could travel anywhere from 1 mile to 10 miles hiking in this area.

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Notes: The hiking options in this area are many. There are several side trails and dirt roads to explore. This area is worth many trips back to investigate. There are many fences to traverse; please be respectful of ranchers’ livelihoods.

Helpful Hint: Carry things that serve more than one purpose: bandana (sun guard, hat, dust guard, wash cloth, tissue, signal flag, bandage, tourniquet), knife (cutting tool, screw driver, pick, scraper, eating utensil, toothpick), plastic bag (carry-all, carrying out garbage, water collection, tourniquet, hat, rain guard, signal flag).

This is an article that was originally published in “Desert Exposure”. Check them out at:  http://www.desertexposure.com

January 2013 – Continental Divide (CD) Trail — Burro Mountains

Name: Continental Divide (CD) Trail — Burro Mountains

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Directions: From Highway 90 at Ridge Road, take Highway 90 south 10.2 miles. Turn right onto Tyrone Road. Stay on this dirt road for 7.2 miles. There are several turn-offs and curves; just stay on the main road until you see CD Trail markers on the trees at the 7.2 mile marker.

Hike Description: We took the trail to the south (on the left), towards Jack’s Peak. It is well marked in most places, easily found in others. You’ll enjoy pine trees, views of the Mogollons, some sandy areas, a few gates that are closed but unlocked. The trail wanders up and down some easy hills and then after a mile or so starts its rise up towards Jack’s Peak. It’s a good trail for any hiker as you can turn back if it’s too steep for your condition. There are many hiking options off of this road to explore.

landscape
View from the Continental Divide Trail, off Highway 90 south of Silver City in the Burro Mountains. (Photo by Linda Ferrara)

Notes: This would be a good hike for any time of the year since it is nicely shaded for much of the trail. If you are climbing up to the top, consider going early in the day if you are hiking in the heat of summer.

Helpful Hint: When I was stuck up on a ridge and couldn’t find my way down, I followed a cow trail that showed me the route. Think about what animals do and need. Their trails can bring you to water, trails, roads, civilization.

Reposted from article in January 2013 “Desert Exposure”    http://www.desertexposure.com/201301/201301_100_hikes.php

Hike #97 – Forest Road 4259N – Past Gila

09-19-12 – We’ll find a trail to hike come hell or high water!

After a 3 week visit to Florida, Sharon returned and joined me on today’s hike. The plan (ahem), was to go out to Cliff, turn on to CR211 and then on to Sacaton Road. I had hiked off the road to the right, so I wanted to try the one to the left. Well, that ended at several adamant looking “No Trespassing” signs. So we doubled back and took the road to the right, figuring we would just hike a different trail. After passing the not-gross-at-all dead cow in the field (rigor mortis and all), we wind down into the valley (fascinating and wonderful to view) and eventually come to the Gila River. It’s running strong and has taken out the road. To further discourage us, there were deep ruts where a truck got stuck. Okay, this isn’t going to work. Where’s the map????

We wind up over on CR153 and enter the forest. It heads up to Turkey Creek, but we’ve been in the car for 2 hours and are ready for a hike. When we see a sign for FR 4259N, we pull over and get going already! I put an orange t-shirt on Cody and we’re off!

We are firmly entrenched in ranch country and regularly see cattle. The day is warm after a week of cool September weather and I’m sunburned by the end of the day. We walk up an arroyo/road and enjoy views of mountains, low brush and rock hopping. After an hour or so, we see a white structure in the distance and head for it. It turns out to be an old cement water tank. We check it out and continue on. I see what resembles the remnants of an old road and we follow it for a while until we start seeing evidence of old structures: another water tank, a barrel, an old iron stove, tin and wood on the ground. We stop under a tree for a break and when I turn to sit, I see an old tin building through the trees. We check it out and find various debris including, an old metal bed frame, some more wood and tin sheets.

After exploring the area a little more, and getting bitten by a bunch of Mesquite in the area, we head back to the car, counting cattle the whole way back. And oh, that t-shirt that Cody was wearing? Torn in 3 places, stained in about 15 more!

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3.99 Miles / 2.25 Hours

97 down/3 to go