Blog Archives

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.

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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.

 

August 2014 – Sacaton Creek

Up a Creek

Hiking with Nancy and Ralph Gordon along Sacaton Creek.

I’ve known Nancy Gordon since I moved here 14 years ago, but neither of us can remember when we met. It’s one of those small-town relationships where you know common acquaintances, have attended common events, and have just drifted into knowing each other. I recall passing her and husband Ralph during my 100 hikes. It was hike number 98 and we were climbing the back side of Tadpole Ridge, and Nancy and Ralph were coming down the trail. We stopped briefly and talked and then continued on. So when I saw Nancy at the post office recently, I asked if she would be one of my victims — er, subjects.

The Gordons have lived in Silver City for 22 years. Ralph has a master’s degree in teaching and most recently taught in Lordsburg before retiring. Nancy, who calls herself a professional job hopper, has a master’s degree in civil engineering/hydrology. They’ve been trekking together since their second date 40 years ago (don’t you just love it?). Their list of hikes is long and includes climbing Wheeler Peak (highest peak in New Mexico, coming in at 13,159), ascending Mount Whitney in California (at 14,505, it’s the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48), and hiking in the Grand Canyon and in Big Bend National Park in Texas. They’ve even backpacked in Australia and through Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand (after researching this one, I’ve concluded that the Gordons have hiked in paradise!).

 

 

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They are intimately knowledgeable about trails in this area, and so when they agreed to share one of their favorites, I was one happy hiker.

Name: Sacaton Creek

Distance: 4.0 miles, round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Directions: Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 180 and Little Walnut Road in Silver City, drive west on Hwy. 180 for 43.6 miles. On the right, you will see the Moon Ranch sign. Turn into Moon Ranch (it’s a county maintained road). You will see a sign that says, “Sacaton 10–729.” Stay right at the fork (the left is “729a”). At the 5.8-mile mark, there is a four-way intersection. Stay straight. Drive 2.3 miles to the trailhead.

Hike Description: This is a shaded walk along Sacaton Creek. Enjoy walking through the trees, stop to listen to the birds and look at the wildflowers and check out the old cabin. There are some short uphill climbs, a few downed trees and boulder fields to negotiate, and places to test your trail-finding skills — but other than that, it’s easy going. At mile two you will find large boulders and a good place to lunch next to the creek. Explore the caves in the area. On the way back, see if you can locate the mine.

Notes: As you traverse the creek, you will see evidence of the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy fire. When we went in late June, there was little water and the creek was easy to cross. If the water is flowing when you go, be careful with the crossings. I recommend you bring and use bug repellent. I also suggest you be careful where you step as there is lots of poison ivy (see photo).

I did some research on the name Sacaton. It turns out it comes from the New Mexican Spanish word zacaton, which means fodder grass. Guess who found a book called The Place Names of New Mexico by Robert Julyan at the library? Stay tuned to this column for more fascinating bits about our area.

Describe something unusual that happened on a hike: Ralph and Nancy have had close encounters with black bears on the trail, and both have accidentally stepped on rattlesnakes. Fortunately, all went their separate ways without tribulation.

Tell us what you are doing in retirement: Ralph has been playing golf and battling the bugs, birds, rabbits and deer to supply the neighborhood with vegetables. Both he and Nancy have been restoring the historic Silver City Waterworks on Little Walnut Road for the past four years. Rehabilitating it has turned into a community-wide project, bringing together non-profits, local businesses, more than 100 volunteers, youth conservation groups, town staff, and state and federal agencies. As you can imagine, it has kept Nancy busy applying for grants, organizing volunteers, and learning about historic preservation. Since starting to work on it in 2010, much has been accomplished including: the one-story roof was replaced, the historic front porch reconstructed, and the exterior stone masonry was repointed using lime mortar. The Wellness Coalition’s Youth Volunteer Corps and Aldo Leopold High School’s Youth Conservation Corps have done several landscaping projects and painted the “faux” doors and windows.

For more information about the project, check out the the feature article that appeared in Desert Exposure in January 2011 and Google “Silver City Waterworks.”

This article was originally  published in Augist 2014 issue of Desert Exposure.

June 2014 – Mogollon Box Loop Hike

In the Loop

Hiking a loop around the Mogollon Box with Kathy Whiteman,
director of WNMU’s Outdoor Program.

Kathy Whiteman, director of WNMU’s Outdoor Program, has lived in rural settings for most of her life. She was raised in northwest Pennsylvania, has spent time in Washington State, and made it to New Mexico in the mid-1990s. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Edinboro University, a Bachelor of Science (botany) from Western New Mexico University, and a Master’s and PhD in Biology (plant ecology) from New Mexico State University.

She is exceedingly knowledgeable about the plants, animals and terrain of our wilderness backyard, which made her an excellent hiking partner. She has traveled throughout the Gila on foot and mule for almost two decades. Clearly, she is especially competent to run the Outdoor Program for WNMU.

You can tell she has hiked with inexperienced hikers before. She reminded me to bring a snack, water, river shoes and a hat. She also sent me a link to a Google map that showed where we were going. This is my kind of hiker!

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Name: Mogollon Box Loop Hike

Distance: 4.25 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Directions: Starting at the intersection of Hwy. 180 and Little Walnut Road in Silver City, drive 28 miles to mile marker 84. Make a right onto S211 and drive 1 mile to a fork in the road. Stay to the left and drive 6.9 miles to trailhead. Park in the Mogollon Box campground.
Hike description: Keep in mind that the flood we had last fall re-structured parts of the river so that some of the trails/markers are not immediately obvious. Go around the brown gate and walk on the road. Just before the green gate (a minute or two of walking), on the right, you will see a brown Gila National Forest trailhead marker. Take this trail through the trees and after one or two minutes, look for a trail on your left. Now trek through a dry river bed until you pick up the trail again (as of May 1, there were blue tape markers hanging in the trees showing the way). You will soon see the trail. Take it to your first river crossing. You will see the trail on the other side of the water.

This is a loop trail that crosses the Gila River five times and works its way over a mountain. You will pass the Gila USGS gauging station along the way. Walk past the gauge equipment and follow the two-track road back to the car.

We saw six desert bighorn sheep along the way, a gopher snake, and a hiking fool who fell in the water twice (it’s not necessary to name names).

Notes: If the river is flowing when you cross, be careful. The rocks under the water are slippery and the water is flowing faster than you think!

If you prefer an easier, drier hike, at the green gate, keep heading northwest on the two-track road and follow it all the way to the gauging station. Return the way you came. No river crossings for this modified hike, but take plenty of water with you, as there is very little shade.

Tell me about a particularly memorable hiking experience: As I click my camera overlooking the Gila River, Kathy shares a story. “Not surprisingly, one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done involved alcohol. I was in my 20s and spending a lot of time backpacking in the Gila. One afternoon a friend of mine dropped me and another friend off at a trailhead. The two of us hikers had been drinking and were pretty toasted when we started down the trail. We had very heavy packs and were planning to make it to a base camp we’d set up 12 miles away.

“We were having a great time, drunk as skunks, when it started to snow. It was one of those big snows with heavy wet flakes that stick. It was beautiful and we were like kids, throwing snowballs and me, making snow angels. Before long, I was soaking wet and cold; I wasn’t dressed for the snow.

“Not surprisingly, by the time it started getting dark, we were a long way from our intended camp spot. We had enough sense to make camp before the light was completely gone, but our hands were so cold that we couldn’t light a match or use a lighter. We had trouble putting up the tent. We only had one sleeping bag.

“When I look back on this experience, I realize how lucky I was, and how embarrassingly stupid. The Gila’s ‘gentle seasons’ can be unforgiving; nature is not sympathetic to human ignorance. Getting sloppy drunk out in the wilderness is about as dumb as it gets. Thankfully, I learned from this experience.”

What is the WNMU Outdoor Program all about? “The Outdoor Program (OP) allows students of WNMU to take classes for academic credit. Classes include Outdoor Leadership, Foundations in Experiential and Adventure Education, Introduction to Rock Climbing, Introduction to Backpacking, SCUBA, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Mountain Biking and more. This fall the OP is teaming with the Art Department to offer a wilderness photography course. Participants will learn photography and practice skills on a four-day horse-packing trip to photograph elk. The university Outpost has gear for rent to students and the public as well as maps and other information.

“Students (and WILL members) may also attend trips (not for credit) that the outdoor program leads. Previous trips have included: Carlsbad Caverns, scuba diving, skiing/snowboarding, White Sands National Monument, whitewater rafting, and wilderness horseback riding.”

Want to know more about WNMU’s Outdoor Program? Check out their website: www.wnmuoutdoors.org.

 

To read more about Linda Ferrara’s 100-hike challenge, check out her blog at 100hikesinayear.wordpress.com.

 

See a collection of Linda Ferrara’s previous 100 Hikes columns
at www.desertexposure.com/100hikes.

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/

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

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

Hike #95 – Gila National Forest – Burro Mountains

09-11-12 – Saddlerock Canyon Road

Today, I took Cody for a hike in the Saddlerock Canyon Road area. This is in the Burro Mountains, in a sandy area, with dramatic scenery. There are canyons, soft riverbeds, huge rock formations, and hills to take in as you move along. I parked the car on the side of the road and we walked the deserted and desert-like road for a mile or so, and then explored some side roads including 4242I, 118A and 118. I would love to bring a geologist out here to describe some of the rocks and formations; they’re fascinating! We also enjoyed fields of flowers: Mexican Sunflower, Globe Mallow, and something purple.

Has any blogger posting today, not mentioned the importance of this day to America? I doubt it. I will never forget that day and how Frank and I stood in Newark Airport; our flight halted, and watched the towers collapse. Absolutely horrific. I remember thinking, “how can there be such hate in the world?” To all those who survived this event, and all those who lost loved ones, please know that our thoughts are with you today.

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4.62 Miles / 2.25 Hours

95 down /5 to go

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

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