Tag Archives: New Mexico wilderness

The Experiment is Over

photo of a New Mexico mountain meadow

New Mexico mountain meadow, who says NM isn’t green?!

We spent 13 months without a car. It was a great experiment! I really enjoyed riding our city buses and walking everywhere. There were only two things we knew we would miss about not having a car, 1. day trips to the mountains to go hiking and, 2. having a way to haul things. Number 2 was taken care of by the generosity of our parents letting us borrow their cars once or twice a month. I believe we were able to get a hike in only 2 or 3 times during the year, and that was what made us finally break down and buy our truck. We still plan to use the public transit and walk as much as possible, but it sure is nice to be able to hop in our truck and take a trip to the mountains.

Sun shining through the Aspens

Sun through the Aspens

We bought our “new” truck last week and spent the next few days fixing up a few things on it so we could go out on Tuesday to HIKE! I’m so happy that we did! We bought a 1987 Ford Bronco II, 4×4. On Tuesday, we took off north of Albuquerque to the San Pedro wilderness in the Santa Fe National Forest. We hiked a portion of the Continental Divide Trail, something we have been fantasizing about for months as we saved to buy our truck. The truck gets the same gas mileage as our old van, but the bonus is, we can go much further into the wilderness with 4 wheel drive!

photo of large aspen grove

We hiked at least a mile through a large Aspen grove, some of the trees were at least 80 years old, judging by the carvings on them from 1934!

On the way up the mountain, I was looking out at the forest and enjoying the scenery, trying not to pay much attention to the CRAZY 4 wheel drive road we were on, high up in the mountains with no guardrails! Luckily, my husband has lots of experience driving those types of roads. Still, it was better if I didn’t look ahead of us! Anyway, while I was watching the forest roll by, I could SWEAR I saw what could have possibly been a BIGFOOT! I so wish I would have had my camera out! What I saw, clear as day, was an upright, tall creature, yellowish brown colored, run through the trees to our right. By the time I asked my husband if he saw what I saw, it was gone. We were DEEP in the forest, on a 4 wheel drive road that had obviously not been traveled in a LONG time. We didn’t run into any people on our hike or anywhere on the 3 separate forest roads we drove on that day. If you have never been to the northern New Mexico wilderness, this is REMOTE country. FREAKED me out! To say the least!

photo of our pooped puppies

Juju and Raven at the end of the hike, Raven was pooped, but Osa was nowhere to be seen, she was having way too much fun chasing squirrels!

By the time we got to the trail head though, I had forgotten all about it. We were going HIKING! The dogs were THRILLED! We ended up going on a 4 hour hike through some of the most beautiful forests I have seen yet. There was at least a mile long Aspen grove with trees that had been carved by people (I hate it when people do that!) as far back as 1934! I love imagining the first people who walked through the forest, perhaps they marked the trees so they could find their way back the way they came.

photo of aaron and his truck

Aaron and his new “baby”, he even got to splash through some mud!

My husband was in heaven, driving his new 4×4 that switched very smoothly into 4 wheel drive and then back out again once we got off the mountain. What a wonderful day! Just the first of many to come!

photo of me with Juju at the end of the hike

Me with Juju at the end of the hike! I was standing on a tree stump, but Aaron cut off my feet in the photo!

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This Week’s Inspiration

Opposite Cliff

Opposite Cliff

Monday is hiking day. Every Monday, yes even in the winter, Aaron and I go out into the wilderness to recharge our batteries, exercise our legs, wear out the dog, find some inspiration, explore new territory, you name it! It is our day for finding inspiration. Luckily, we live in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Within one hour in every direction of Albuquerque, there are some amazing places to explore. Since we both grew up in southern New Mexico, neither of us had explored much of the northern part of the state. So, after almost 9 years in the largest city in NM, and a great wilderness book Aaron received for Christmas, we have set out to expand our horizons past the hiking trails of the Sandia Mountains east of town. The Sandias are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but you can still hear the hum of the city and run into lots of people there. The past couple of weeks we’ve headed northeast of town, up hwy 550 out of Bernalillo, to the Cabezon Peak WSA(wilderness study area) and the Ojito WSA. Yesterday, we even remembered to take the camera! The photos that follow are all from yesterday’s hike. I probably took close to 100 pics, so this is just a small sampling! There was an old abandoned ranch ruins, lots of great rock formations, even an old jail building. Osa was completely worn out, plus she ended up with several thorns in her paws which she proceeded to get in her mouth trying to chew them off. Took a few minutes of wrestling to get her still enough so Aaron could pull them out for her. Poor puppy! Other than that, she had lots of fun! We are looking into getting her some dog booties for future wilderness trips. Trails are not maintained, so at times they disappear altogether which resulted in our having to back track to find our way. It was all too fun though, picnicing on the rocks not to mention a beautiful day with temps in the low 70s! T-shirt weather, finally! Enjoy the photos and I will try to make this a regular weekly post, with photos and descriptions of our trips. Lots to do here in New Mexico, if you’ve never been here before, you definitely need to visit someday!

waferrock

rock overlook

upthruroof

barn roof, looking up

 

Tattered curtain

Tattered curtain

Stone Tower

Stone Tower

Old Stone Barn

Old Stone Barn

Adobe Ruins Ranch house

Adobe Ruins Ranch house

Pooped Puppy!

Pooped Puppy!