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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

Gomez Peak Hike – Gila National Forest

5-6-12 – The Classic Gomez Peak Trail

A cackle of cacti on the path

More than likely, every activity has its’ classic. Italian cooking has tomato sauce; bike racing has The Tour De France. Well, hiking near Silver City has Gomez Peak…..and that’s the trail we hit on Sunday morning. There is a whole easy-to-follow signed trail system, a bulletin board of information, a large rentable picnic area with gazebo, abundant parking and bathrooms. We aimed for the trail that leads us to the peak and set out for a lovely walk that began through tall trees and shaded paths. The trail begins just 5 miles north of town and so we expected to meet people along the way. I kept the leash nearby and we greeted two groups of hikers during the 2.45 hour trip.

 

An Agave with a shoot coming up – I want to see that in a few days when it blooms!

 

Me and Cody with Bear Mountain in the background

 

This hike is doable in 1.5 – 2 hours if you don’t stop often for photo ops, and don’t sit up top gabbing for half an hour. But with the views we saw, sitting and enjoying them is part of the experience…. And we’re females; we had important stuff to talk about!

What is this foundation on top for? Does anyone know?

 

The monastery and the mountains.

 

The trail switch-backs its’ way up the sides of the cone shaped mountain, first with stunning views to the north, then the south, all the while climbing upwards. The final portion is a staircase (thanks to the trail maintenance people!) that resembles the climb that Frodo and Sam took before meeting Shelob the spider.  Gomez’ trek isn’t as scary though! We are rewarded with a summit rest and 360 views.

 

A view of “The Kneeling Nun”

 

Silver City from the peak

 

I couldn’t resist stopping on the way home to take a photograph of today’s accomplishment.

 

I plan to come back and explore some of the lower trails – there are nice trails that stay in the shade and trees that I want to get to know.

 

3.35 miles / 2.45 hours

59 down / 41 to go

Hiking on the Continental Divide Trail in the Gila National Forest

 

Helen, Angie and I head out to explore the Gila Forest in the Little Walnut area. I had hiked up here several years ago and remember enjoying the pine forest trails. When I mention a trail behind the fire station, Helen knows of access to the CD Trail in the area that ties in to my trail, and once again, we’re off!

 

Seriously, we've got nice views!

 

 

Views of the monestary.

 

We walk down a dirt drive that has access to the trail, Helen points out a friend’s home, we see a nice homemade sign that says, “Forest Trail” that meanders down a hill and our hike begins lovely amongst the pines. We soon hit the CD Trail and choose to turn right onto it (the left trail will take us back towards the roads and we prefer not seeing civilization.). Onward we trek, up and down and around the hills of the Gila. As you can see from the photos, there are many striking vistas to enjoy.

 

A photo of a horse's ass.

 

 

As usual, as we hike, we talk about everything under the sun. It’s a warm, sunny day, with no wind – a pleasant surprise for this time of year. Eventually the conversation turns to Angie; she is taking this hike 10 days after having a mastectomy. I’m amazed that she’s not only up, but out for a hike. Angie, you totally impress me. It would be easy to be home and hiding under the covers. You choose to get out and do things. It’s no easy thing and it never fails to stun me when I hear about people’s challenges and how they overcome obstacles and how strong they are. You go woman!

Angie, Helen and Cody

 

All the up and down slopes are wearing me out and at the 2.5 mile mark, we turn back.

This is the time of year where there are changes needed in my gear. For one thing, it’s getting warm out and I’ll need more water; time to bring the backpack with the camel inside. Lighter clothing and layers of it too. I hate to admit this, but the chocolate may have to go. It’s making a melty, sticky mess of things.

We stop several times on the way back to rest and catch our breath. Angie is starting to tire. Towards the end, we reach the driveway/access point and Angie sits for a rest. Helen walks to the car and drives it back. We’re all tired, hot and thirsty. Luckily, my husband was working at the fire station and gave Helen cold water for us.  As I sit here writing this, I’m feeling that ’empty’ feeling and know that I’ll eat good tonight – and then sleep even better!

Just what you expect to see in a tree....... a deer's hoof.

 

4.76 miles / 4.0 hours

56 down / 44 to go

03-28-12 – A hike with views of a monastery – Silver City, New Mexico

This is the monastery's newer building.

 

I love the area north of Silver City, up Little Walnut Rd. I know several people who live in the area and always enjoy the pine trees and mountain views. Today, I thought it would be interesting to walk up Owen’s Rd – a road I had only been on one other time. There are several long range views including of the Monesterio de Nuestra Senora Santa Maria. Here is a link with a bit of information about the monastery.   http://www.ourladyofguadalupemonastery.com

The tower of the older building.

 

The entrance - that's as far as we went!

 

As we walked along, we encountered a monk on a bicycle, going for the mail. We also met a man on an ATV who asked us if we lived in the area. I suspect he was hinting that we shouldn’t be there, but he was pleasant enough and just asked us a few questions and moved on. I had heard that people in this area keep to themselves; we were sure to stay on the road and not intrude onto private property.

 

Not a bad little view of the Gila National Forest.

 

The hike was on a dirt road, as my companion is not in shape for trails. There was a variety of hills, but all in all, an easier hike. Cody enjoyed chasing a wide variety of deer. I kept seeing flashes of brown, and then a black-and-white blur, running across the road and then back again.

What can I say, the border collie loves herself some deer tail!

 

4.08 miles / 2.00 hours

49 down / 51 to go