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Sunday's hike

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is what my yard looks like this morning.

Abigail was out with me for a few minutes and accummulated some snow on her in that short a time. Brought her back in with me but 10 minutes later she wanted back out again so I guess she wants to play in it a little longer. I'll have her back in soon. It's too cold for her to stay out there long, even with her heavy coat (labs have an undercoat and a top coat because they were bred for swimming in cold water) but since she's used to be an inside dog I won't leave her out long.

Last week we had beautiful days with temps in the upper 50's. Then Saturday it rained all day. On Sunday it was overcast and threatening to rain again but I wanted to go hiking so I took my chances and headed out. I was going to go to the Little Walnut area just out of town, where there are a lot of trees and networks of trails and the "forest" look but when I looked that direction there was some very dark threatening clouds. So instead I headed the opposite direction, back to Fort Bayard game preserve, where I've been lots of times. It didn't look quite as dark that way and about the sam amount of time to get there.

From the parking lot some clous on the horizon but also some blue patches.

The ground was not as muddy as I expected but there were some places where it was worse. These are not my footprints in the mud because I stepped on the side of the trail around it but someone before me really got in the mud!

The clouds obscure the top of the mountain in the distance

This part of the trail crossed a dry creek and I love the color of the brush in this area.

The trail gets to another part of the creek bed and follows it for a little. There are some spots with a little water in it and lots of dry places.

There is some water in these spots.

I had crossed the creek and followed a trail back toward the canyon through there on a trail I haven't gone on before. This part of the creek was still frozen solid from a few weeks ago when we had extremely low temps. I was surprised after the warm temps last week.

But a little further down is no ice.

I followed the creek and climbed over rocks at times just for the fun of it.

Eventually I climbed out of the creek area because it was headed back the direction I had come and I wasn't ready to go that way yet.

I kind of cut across country for a little bit in an area I hadn't been in since I was a teenager. I knew I would hit another trail or a fence though so I wasn't worried about getting lost. I did come to a fence and a trail that follows it and so I headed north on the that trail and knew I was headed for a place where different sections of fence come together. There are a number of fences in this Gila National Forest owned area, with gates that are not locked. They just have signs to close them because sometimes the forest service lets their horses loose in the off seasons in some of these areas and wants to keep them confined to the area they put them in.

In through this area it started raining lightly on me but I didn't care and kept going. The picture is a little hazy looking because of the rain up ahead of me a ways.

About 15 minutes later I came t the corral and the junction of the fences I'd mentioned. About that time the rain also stopped and I didn't get rained on anymore. This is also where I turned around.

I had a great time being out there. I ran into several others on the trail at different times too, so I wasn't the only one who braved the weather. This area is popular for hiking, mountain bike riding, and horseback riding but not so busy that you see people all the time. there is a lot of quiet solitude out there, and yet you know you aren't totally alone. There is also good cell reception out there in case it's needed. It's a great area and close to home. However when weather is better, I love the higher mountains and. Just so many great places to hike here.

Hope you enjoyed going along. The weather forecast calls for clear weather later this week and by the end of the week up in the 60's so I'm hoping to get into the trees then.
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