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Old 06-28-2015, 01:49 PM   #31
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I don't know what plant this is, but it was growing everywhere up there. I want to plant it along my fence line to use as a hedge, since I know it will grow at altitude --



These signs are place in random locations along the road. I got a kick out of them.



The road came out right at the Valles Caldera. I thought I could drive through the preserve to another forest road, but they told me at the visitor's center the gates were locked, and that I could not take my dogs into the back country of the preserve.

So, we went up NM4 past Fenton Lake to Forest Road 378. My plan was to follow it to Forest Road 144, then travel north to see where that went.





It was around 4 p.m., so I decided to set up a camp. There was a lot of thunder in the distance, and it started moving toward us. I've been in mountain storms before, and they usually pass quickly. I figured if I got the tent set up, we could wait out the inevitable rain shower in the vehicle.

But then, as I was staking the tent, I smacked in the back of the neck by a 1" hail stone. The pain made me swear loudly. How far had that fallen from the sky? It hurt like hell!

I had just bought this tent at Kmart for $25, on sale, the day before. I didn't want to haul my big canvas tent around for a little overnighter.



And it hailed.



When it turned to mostly rain, I took the tent down. I wasn't going to be miserable all night long in the cold and wet. Wife's shoulder said it was going to be a long, cold, wet night. Yeah, I wussed out. I could have toughed it out and built a fire out of wet wood, etc. and tested my survival skills. But, I didn't.



It didn't hail everywhere in the canyon. Note the steam/cloud in the trees.



Some places got it worse than we did. This is on the blacktop highway just off the forest road entrance. There were some places with 2" of hail.



I didn't get pictures of the flash floods running over the road, on the way home. The water was still low enough, trucks were driving through it. I did see a swiftwater rescue vehicle, towing kayaks, heading up where I came from as I got closer to Albuquerque. It rained all the way home, and did not let up until early this morning.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:13 PM   #32
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Great pictorial history, of your trip, and I don't blame you for disliking that hail either.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:52 PM   #33
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AWESOME photos Sanders you livin the dream son!!!!


It really sucks pitching up or taking down a tent in the greasy mud after it rains............i have abandoned many a camping trip because of the frequent summer rains in the mountains........i just didnt want to deal with mud all over my boots, car interior tent..ect...ect...ect...

Keep the photos comin
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:31 PM   #34
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The nice thing about that tufa, is that it doesn't get muddy. That, and the grassy spot I was in kept the mud to a bare minimum.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:22 PM   #35
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I got some new tires, yesterday. The stock BF Goodrich Long Trail tires were crap for off roading. I tested my new tires (Big O Bigfoot A/T) by going up a sand dune on the west side of Albuquerque that I had spun out on near the crest, when I tried to climb it last month. I was able to drive right up it with the new tires, without lowering the air pressure. Didn't even spin them. It had been bugging me that there was an obstacle I had not been able to overcome -- especially such an easy one.

Exploring also means learning what is practically in your back yard. This morning, I went to what folks around here call Cedro Offroad Park. It is a series of trails on Forest Service land in what is otherwise wilderness area. Just 15 miles outside of Albuquerque, I drive past it every day to work.

I only took one picture, as I had to cut my trip short. I forgot I had given my dogs some milk that went off, and they had the squirts pretty bad. Instead of having to clean shit out of the back of my car, I figured it would be prudent to head home.

Sorry I didn't have more to share. I'll be going back up there again, so I can run the full trail.

Albuquerque is on the other side of the mountains behind me.



New tire clinging to the rock by the sidewall -

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Old 07-12-2015, 03:57 PM   #36
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Nice deep lugs on those tires!
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:34 AM   #37
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Sanders, If you ever decide to head down South 14 a little further and explore the Manzanita/Manzano Mountain area let me know. Maybe we can meet up for a drink. There are some really cool trails up around Tajique and Torreon. There used to be good 4 wheeling around Red Canyon, but I haven't been through there in probably 20 years. Your pictures almost make me regret giving my 4runner to my son.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:55 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konstantin View Post
Sanders, If you ever decide to head down South 14 a little further and explore the Manzanita/Manzano Mountain area let me know. Maybe we can meet up for a drink. There are some really cool trails up around Tajique and Torreon. There used to be good 4 wheeling around Red Canyon, but I haven't been through there in probably 20 years. Your pictures almost make me regret giving my 4runner to my son.
I almost was going to go down Red Mountain road, which comes out near the old Abo Mission ruins West of Mountainaire, but decided to stick a little closer to home, yesterday. In fact, I was headed that direction, but detoured over to Cedro, instead.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:47 PM   #39
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On the way back from El Paso, I took some back roads. Well, sort of.

We made little detour to White Sands National Monument. The sand was not even hot in 100 degree temps. I walked up and down the sand dunes barefoot, and it was barely warm on the surface and was cool just a few inches down. The water table is at 1 ft. there. They say the shallow water acts like a suction cup, with the moisture keeping the dunes from drifting away.







Then we drove through Alamogordo and went up to Cloudcroft. Just 40 miles away, we were in the Ponderosa pines. The trestle in photo is all that remains of the railroad tracks that used to go to Cloudcroft.



We spent the night in Ruidoso and this morning headed toward Albuquerque, taking back roads as we went along. From Capitan (where Smokey Bear was found, and is buried) we went on a dirt road North along the eastern edge of the Sacramento Mountain range. We came out near an (almost) ghost town called White Oaks. The only business there is the "No Scum Allowed" saloon, so we stopped had had a ginger ale and hotdog for lunch. We were the only customers.

From there, we continued up Forest Road 72, and I was looking for the road to another ghost town called, Reventon. I didn't find the road, though.

The road did go through the ghost town of, Jicarilla (pronounced Hic-a-ree-ya).

Here's the old school house:



Wife got a lot more pictures. I'll see what she has, and maybe add to this trip post.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:24 PM   #40
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awesome thread

for those of us that are stuck at work and cant get away to see the sights.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:17 PM   #41
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awesome thread

for those of us that are stuck at work and cant get away to see the sights.
I was told I have too much vacation time banked and I'd better start using it.

I can't afford to take 2 weeks at once, so a day here, a couple days there, and it will get used up.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:50 PM   #42
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It was our 5th wedding anniversary, and my mother-in-law purchased tickets for me and my wife to go for a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic railway - a narrow gauge train that runs between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO.

We reserved our seats for Saturday morning, but drove up to Chama Friday afternoon.



For those snowy days. I'd love to see this thing in action:



The first big trestle - just outside Chama over Wolf Creek.


Straight down - not too far, compared to some other trestles we crossed.



Blowing off steam. Not sure why they did that every so often - maybe they got too much pressure and had to release it, lest something blow?



We stopped at Osier Station where we were served our choice of a turkey dinner, with all the fixin's or a meatloaf dinner -- all cafeteria-style, on trays like they used to use in grade school. Food wasn't bad, though, and there was plenty of it.

The West bound train from Antonito stopped here, as well, just after we arrived. This is the back of the Parlor Car (first class) of the train I was on.



Passed through a couple tunnels. This was the "Mud Tunnel", as it requires support all the way through. The other was the "Rock Tunnel", which was drilled and blasted from rock. I got pics of it on my wife's camera.



They stopped here to oil the engine.



Out of the mountains (from 10,000+ ft) and onto the sagebrush San Luis valley.



I'll add some more pictures when I get them off my wife's camera.

On the way home from N. New Mexico/S. Colorado, my wife wasn't feeling well, so instead of taking a more scenic route, I took the most direct route back home.

We stopped beside the highway at an old abandoned bar to refresh our ice teas from the cooler, and just to stretch a little.

I noticed a guy walking up toward us from across the road, and didn't see any vehicles around. He didn't look like a hitchiker or a bum.

Turned out that he was an elk hunter and had been out scouting for his hunt that starts next week. He was from Jacksonville, Florida, and had driven out to New Mexico in his Chevy Trailblazer.

Anyway, this morning he went out to scout and drove down a powerline road off a Forest Service road and wound up getting high-centered in a washed out portion.

I had him hop in the passenger seat and my wife get in the back seat*, and we went 6 miles out into the forest and found the Trailblazer. It didn't look too bad, and I went around in front of him and hooked up. Put it in 4-low and pulled him right out of his situation without any fuss or muss.

He offered to pay me for helping him out, but I refused, and followed him back out to his camp to make sure he didn't get stuck again. Then I wished him luck and headed on back out and down the road.

It wasn't a dramatic rescue, but he was all by himself and there was no cell service where we were.

Now, if it had been me, I'd have self-extracted using a jack. He'd tried to dig himself out, but it wasn't working for him.



*Wife in the backseat was providing security - use your imagination.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:06 AM   #43
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I have ridden that train a few times. It is a beautiful trip. The best time to ride is during the fall when the aspen trees are changing colors. I always ride on the open cars where you can see everything. The kids always like all the dessert choices at the Osier stop. The last couple times we only went half way because I hate sitting on a bus for the ride back to Chama.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:12 AM   #44
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Ya just gotta love those old trains. That "Clackety-Clack" can put you to sleep, without something to keep up your interest.

Great pictorial of your current adventure! Keep 'em coming, when you can.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:17 AM   #45
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Terrific photos...like from a movie set
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