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Last weekend's 10 mile hike

Friday, March 15, 2013

It seems like I've been so busy lately that I haven't found time to blog. I've been doing a lot of walking and of course work takes up my time. I check in and do a number of things on Spark every day. I just haven't found time to blog.

A week ago Friday and Saturday we had snow and rain. Sunday it had cleared up mostly, and the snow hadn't really stuck to the ground, so I decided to head out for a hike. I went to one spot that I wanted to hike at, behind historic Fort Bayard on the forest service trails. But as I started out it was very muddy there. And a type of mud I was slipping and sliding in and that was sticking to my shoes and made them feel like they weighed about 10 lbs each. I hiked about 1/2 a mile and decided I did not want to do this for very long, so I headed back to my car. Here's couple of photos of that part.

Photo of the Twin Sisters peaks in the distance with snow on them.

Following the trail for a little bit

A little snow on the ground

Yucky foot print from my shoes in the mud

I put in a little over a mile total circling around through that area back to the car. I was disappointed that the mud was so bad on the trail. But I decided to go about 1/2 a mile back down the road to the historic community of Fort Bayard (which I've done a whole blog about before) because I knew there was pavement so I could get out of the mud.

I turned and went up a little side road I hadn't been on before when walking around the area. It led to some of the little bit of remaining rock wall that had been around the fort originally. Not a lot left of it..

The road turned into dirt road but it wasn't as muddy as the trails had been so I followed it up towards the water tower.

Then I turned on a sidewalk that went up towards an old building I hadn't been close to before.

As I followed it around I saw that it was the old nurses quarters from when the area was a tuberculosis sanitarium.

There was a driveway, and I followed it down to the main roads instead of going the back way that I came in. I saw a cable across the driveway to block traffic and a sign.

OOPS, I guess I wasn't supposed to be up there. There hadn't been any sign the back way I went in. Oh well, didn't get caught LOL. Turned right back onto the main road and continued toward the veteran's cemetery.

At this point, I could go left and follow the paved highway back down toward the old hospital, or I could follow a dirt road to the right that goes out into the forest land. I've been on both before. The dirt road didn't seem too muddy and I wasn't ready to go back towards my car yet so I decided to try the hiking out on forest service land here and see if it went better than my first attempt had been.

I followed this for a while then came to the old old (not used anymore road) that runs 2 miles from here to the small community of Arenas Valley. I decided to go that way.

I followed it for the 2 miles to the trailhead in Arenas Valley. I've posted previous blogs about this whole area.

Instead of following the road back to Ft. Bayard, I took another trail that winds around toward the main highway and then to Ft Bayard. It's a little further than the dirt road.

I don't know if the highway really shows up, but it's dow from the house on the hill and just past the small trees in the foreground. There's a car traveling on it. That's the main highway out of town. So close to it but still feel like I'm away from everyone.

The trail then curves back away from the highway and continues on toward Ft. Bayard.

Getting fairly close to the back of Bataan Park outside Fort Bayard. But have to climb first.

After climbing for a while I come to some picnic tables that are in the back of the park. There is a nice loop that circles around the area that is 5/8 of a mile for the circle that some people go and walk. There are a couple of other ones too of shorter lengths.

I follow the right path which takes me down to the veteran's memorial area.

There are signs posted all around n here for each war the US has been involved in, starting with the revolutionary war and ending with Iraq at the moment.

A cement path leads out of the pavilion and down to where there is an old army helicopter on display.

Then back up to the walking trail and past 1 of 3 baseball fields for little league.

A sign talks about the different walking loops.

A wall that honors those who were in the Bataan Death March in WWI. Many were from troops in New Mexico. The park is named Bataan Park, and some of the funding for it came from one of the survivors who lived here (he passed away a little over a year ago) and was a congressman for many many years after his military life.

Then further down is the playground. This is on the front side of the park, and close to the road that goes through Fort Bayard.

Then I head on the road back to Fort Bayard. My car was parked about a mile or so from the park.

After walking through Fort Bayard I see my car. A welcome site now. My total hike was just over 10 miles and a great day.

This Sunday I will be at White Sands Missile Range, 2 1/2 hours away, where I will be participating in a yearly event that honors survivors of the Bataan Death March. There is a 15 mile and a 26.2 mile course and I'm walking 15 mile one. This is the 4th year I will have done it. So this long hike was for the enjoyment of hiking and also preparation for Sunday. I've posted blogs each year about the experience and will post one again this year after I get back. The only downside is that it's supposed to be low 80's there this year, a few degrees warmer than last year, which was warmer than the previous 2 years. But I'm really excited and have my plans all made to stay hydrated and as cool as possible.

Have a great weekend!

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