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Thread: Road Trip

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Road Trip

    Hello Gents, I just returned from a fairly long road trip to some places that have been on my Bucket List as long as I can remember. First destination was Big Bend National Park way down on the Texas/Mexico border...which is to say right along the Rio Grande. As you might imagine I have much catching up to do, so please allow me a little time until I get squared away and can launch into the details, and impressions, of my journey.

    Meanwhile, I'll ask our Webmaster, Ryan Avery, what happened to the record here on my Blog. I haven't posted here in a long time but what went before might be of interest/amusement to current and new readers.

    I plan on posting more often here in the future. I'll explain why when I get organized and return with more words about the Trip. If any of you have rambled down in the Big Bend weigh in any time. Oh, and the Gila National Forrest as well...I cruised around in there too.

    Patrick

  2. #2

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Hello Gents, I just returned from a fairly long road trip to some places that have been on my Bucket List as long as I can remember. First destination was Big Bend National Park way down on the Texas/Mexico border...which is to say right along the Rio Grande. As you might imagine I have much catching up to do, so please allow me a little time until I get squared away and can launch into the details, and impressions, of my journey.

    Meanwhile, I'll ask our Webmaster, Ryan Avery, what happened to the record here on my Blog. I haven't posted here in a long time but what went before might be of interest/amusement to current and new readers.

    I plan on posting more often here in the future. I'll explain why when I get organized and return with more words about the Trip. If any of you have rambled down in the Big Bend weigh in any time. Oh, and the Gila National Forrest as well...I cruised around in there too.

    Patrick
    Welcome back Patrick. Sounds like a fun trip. How is the eye recovery going?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Patrick:
    The Sabinoso Wilderness area is a new area, east of Las Vegas NM, that came about when Obama signed the Wilderness Area Act during the 1st or 2nd year of office. It was taken as a joke to most NM residents, as it did not have any public access. I heard some foundation purchased a ranch adjoining the area, and was going to donate it to the gov't for access. My last info was that BLM had not completed their studies on the ranch, so they had not opened a public access. Most of the land in that area consists of sagebrush, oak brush, and pinion trees, very little change in elevation, except is does have small canyons. It is very dry with small amounts of water, but not much snow cover except right after a snow storm. Most winters are mild, if the wind is not blowing.
    To ramble in NM, close to Golden, I would suggest Valle Vidal, north of Cimarron and Taos NM. To access the area, go to Costilla NM, from San Luis CO on Hiway 159. It is comprised of 100k+ acres and is comprised of flats in the 7'K to 12.5'K mountains with lots of running streams and small ponds. This land was given to the gov't by Pennzoil Corp, in lieu of tax payments and a wonderful area. It does have campgrounds, but you can find parking areas and Ramble. In the summer, the Boy Scouts from Philmont use some of area for backpacking. Big Jon or Eric L may have been there. The largest elk herd used to be from this area, but not sure that is still the case, since the latest owner, Ted Turner, changed most of the remaining ranch of 600K acres from cattle to Bison. To avoid summer crowds, I would suggest shoulder seasons or winter. The large ranch used to be known as Vermejo Park Ranch, and to locals it was the WS Ranch, which was their cattle brand. Hope this helps. Tell the family and employees hello for me.
    Rex
    PS: Shot my first deer on the big ranch when I was in the 3rd grade.

    PS:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Hello Beastmode. Thanks for asking about the old eyeball. It's healing, but useless till I'm cleared by the surgeon to get new glasses. This surgery always results in corrective lenses. My road trip, indeed all my activities currently, are one-eyed. Have to be careful re depth perception.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Welcome back Patrick. Hope everything still went well even with being down an eye. God willing, you'll be back to normal soon.

    Would love to hear about Gila and if you have suggestions for the area. Going to do the Bataan Death March in a few weeks and spending the week after roaming NM and AZ with my boys.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Welcome back Patrick, Looking forward your sharing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fountain, Colorado
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Welcome back Patrick. Glad to hear you and prayers for the healing eye.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Road Trip

    Live2Hunt, nothing re edible plants here in Colorado can compare to the bonanza of the blueberries in northern latitudes. Not even close. Not worth the effort, and even less so at timberline where I roam. So I've been dehydrating nutritive veggies for years and carrying them along. I emphasize nutritive meaning the caloric content is nil for active hiking--it's the vitamins and etc. that are needful over the long haul. A pound of my dry veggies lasts a very long time and gives me all the vitamins for sustainment. (I should try to remember to get my dehydrated Vegetable Medley recipe posted.) Pemmican had fruit in it for the same reasons...but the fruit was gathered in season and at lower elevations for processing into the pemmican.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Road Trip

    ROAD TRIP CONTINUES….

    I’m back from scouting and find 14” of snow here at the homestead. Still coming down in fact. A normal spring here in Colorado.
    The scouting was rewarding. I located elk, whitetail and mule deer…all within a three mile hike of each other. The location was low enough in altitude to be snow-free, even in March! Altogether, a pretty fair find.

    But let’s get back to the ROAD TRIP narrative. We left off at McKinney Spring Camp. The next morning found me hiking around the area after a surprisingly cold night. By mid-morning I was poking along in Sheeba down the remaining 26 miles of solitariness that defines Old Ore Road. Headed for the Rio Grande river. If the upper section of this road was uniquely lovely—in a mountainous desert way—this new section was spectacular, revealing vast basins of arid wasteland backstopped many miles away by muscular desert mountains shouldering into the sky to the west. Sheeba growled up steep ridges and down through deep corrugated arroyos. The old girl lives for such challenge—was seemingly born to it—and this was refreshingly different than anything she, we, had yet seen. Our normal fare is either alpine switchbacks or gulley-infested sagebrush. This was a treat for the eye as well as a new challenge.

    We arrived at the famed Rio Grande Del Norte in the afternoon. I immediately put on a hike along the northern bank of course, and dipped hands into the waters, which originate in my own Colorado, like so many rivers that flow west and east from our position atop the continent. (Perhaps readers will be interested to know that 85% of all landmass above ten thousand feet in North America—to include Mexico and Canada and Alaska—resides in Colorado.) The river was about twenty yards wide. A determined wader could cross it, with maybe a bit of swimming in the channel, which might have been over one’s head but more likely chest high…hard to tell from the bank. The current was slow, the water fairly clear. Definitely not muddy brown. The banks were brushy. Okay, so this is the Big Guy I thought. My designated Camp was here; on the morrow I would visit Boquillas Canyon and get some more dramatic views of Big Guy.

    But for now, I need to interrupt our story and start shoveling snow. I’m told Denver International Airport is closed. Yep, this is a humdinger of a blizzard. I frankly like dealing with ‘em. They are certainly not boring.

    Next: Boquillas Canyon and beyond….

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Golden, Co. USA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Road Trip

    GILA WILDERNESS

    I set out for the Gila in a blazing crimson desert dawn, heading west on I-10 across the barren southern New Mexico wastelands. The Gila lies in the Gila National Forest along the Black Mountain Range in southwest New Mexico. I wanted to experience as much of the Gila National Forest as possible so I opted to travel due west to Lordsburg and then north on HWY 90 in order to cut through the southernmost reach of the Forest. Eventually I left the desert and began the climb into the mountains.
    Although I had never visited the Black Range the flora was familiar. Back in the Mountainsmith Dirt Clinic days I had traipsed extensively in the Chiricahua Range at the same latitude just across the border in Arizona. The Gila National Forest contains both the Gila and the Aldo Leopold Wildernesses—side by side with a thin strip of National Forest north-to-south separating them. I intended to explore both. But first the Gila. Soon I was among pines and aspen. And very little snow. Certainly the Gila is ramble-worthy in early March. My home mountains still slumbered beneath feet of snow—all creeks thickly iced. In the Gila surface water in the form of creeks and ponds was not abundant—unlike Colorado—but adequate.
    The Wilderness Visitor Center is at the end of a narrow corridor of Forest Service and some private land that projects up into the middle of the Wilderness. A road wends its way along the corridor. The route overlooks arid mountains, but not nearly so arid as Big Bend. The views in the Gila are closer, a bit more “intimate” than Big Bend or the ranges in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta…the Rockies further north. But there is plenty of charm for the senses, with the valleys between the mountains featuring desert-like aspects. And the Gila River tributaries flowed through such valleys. The Visitors Center is located at the confluence of the West and Middle Forks, and is literally the end of the road. If one were to backpack either fork he would be assured of water. I set out up the West Fork afoot for a reconnaissance. And soon found that the foot traveler must engage in LOTS of wading fords, as headwalls are constant. Backpack-grade sandals are required footgear for travel along the West Gila in my opinion. I didn’t have any. But I had the “lay-of-the-land” in hand, and knew what to bring along on a return journey.
    So I sat awhile and read the maps I had purchased back at the Visitors Center—for both the Gila and the Aldo Leopold Wildernesses. And discovered that there is NO FISHING! In either Wilderness. Yes, there are trout—but they are protected. Can’t catch ‘em. That, dear readers, is anathema to Rambling’s provisioning principles. So right there on the bank of the West Gila I decided to pack up and head out. I would check out the Aldo nevertheless…I was down there, and in no hurry.

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