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Gila Bird Sanctuary revisited Saturday

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I did a 5 mile hike on Friday in a desert outside of Las Cruces, where I had to go for a staff meeting. Then yesterday I went hiking in an area I started to go into Monday closer to home. Earlier this week I posted a blog on a hike I did partway into the area where a bird sanctuary is along the Gila River. Because it was getting late in the day Monday, I didn't have the time to go all the way into the area on foot. Yesteray I went back to the area and did 8 miles of hiking and had a wonderful time. I'm going to post a blog later about Friday's desert hike, but I decided to do the blog about yesterday's hike first because it picks up where I stopped on Monday afternoon.

I parked the car at the same little forest service road I did on Monday, and chose to walk the 3 miles to the river and the area I was headed for. I could have driven in, but I wanted the exercise and to do a long hike. On Monday afternoon, I hiked about 1 1/2 miles up this road, to the top of a hill where the road then descended into the area I was headed. Since I posted pictures a few days ago, I'm going to start the pictures at the top of the hill that I stopped at last time.

I'm at the top of the hill looking down the winding road into the area I'm headed for.

The trees that are grayish and yellow looking off in the distance show where the Gila River is, because they grow along the river.

A forest service outhouse with something interesting inside. Dont know who left the shoes there! Weren't my size though so I left them there LOL!

I'm getting close to the parking area now, and to the river and trails down there. It's been 3 miles to this parking lot.

A trail goes from the parking lot and down through a gate. After that the trail fades in a lot of places because there is just such a carpet of leaves it's covered a lot. So I followed the river a lot and hiked in and out of trees for quite a while.

Places like this, with the trees and the fallen leaves brings back something from my childhood. I can't put my finger on the memories of where or when. Maybe from when I was younger and we lived in the mountains in Colorado. We left there when I was 6 years old. I can't define the memories and only have fleeting thoughts, but it is something so peaceful and happy and wonderful that I so love being in places like this again.

I hiked in out of brush and tree branches, sometimes close to the river, and sometimes more along the edge of the tree line closer to the open field, or in dry areas where past flooding has caused little dry washes. Sometimes the trees and brush got to dense to get close to the river. I looked for birds but didnt see many, but heard a few. They've probably headed away for the winter.

I went for about a mile and half along the river, then turned around and headed back. Going back I stuck more to the trail on the edge of the treeline instead of going back through all the branches and brush. When I got back to the parking area, I followed a road that I heard used to the old road into the area, but now is very short then closed off and a trail runs through there. You cant't really see where the road used to be when you get past the gate because it's been so many years a lot vegetation has grown back. Going back this way will be a little short going back to my car, and I won't climb up the huge hill I came down to get into the area.

This path I'm between the river on one side and high cliffs on the other side so no way to get lost.

Somewhere on the other side of that hill is the road climbing up

These rocks are where the path turns back into a road and I'm about 1/4 mile from where I parked then. Only when I parked there I didn't realize this trail was so close.

The forest service road I'm walking on now, after it curved away from the river and the river is out of sight, runs parallel to the main road.

I see my car now! The total hike from my gps was 7.89 miles. I did it in 3 hours and 40 minutes. I stopped a few times for brief breaks to just enjoy the scenery, but I paused the timer on my gps when I did so that was my actual hiking time.

I had a wonderful time. My pictures just don't show the true colors and how neat it was. Altogether I took 182 pictures. Thank goodnes for digital cameras LOL!

Hope you enjoyed going with me! Wish I could had seen more birds, but the few I did see I couldn't get the picture focused and snapped(tried to zoom in on them) they were gone.

Have a great day!
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