Saturday, August 24, 2019

Deep Creek Hike

A very nice out and back hike just a few minutes from our RV park - easy climbing with plenty of wildflowers. This trail in the Rio Grande National Forest follows Deep Creek in its entirety. We did five miles up and five miles back down today.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Up and Over Hike

Time to take it easy with a shorter morning hike - this time from Creede called the "Up and Over" hike. The Bryant's led us on this hike that they had done previously - definitely worth doing more than once!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Wheeler Trail 790 Hike

A hike with the Bryant's today - a beautiful drive up Pool Table Road to Hanson's Mill Campground, then on to the trail - hiking towards the Wheeler Geological Area in the La Garita Wilderness. Photo above - Bellows Creek.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Engineers Pass Ride

Took a trip over to Lake City with the Bryant's today for a ride out towards Engineers Pass on County Road 20. Our plan was to ride out County Road 20 following Henson Creek until the road got too tough to ride. Well... Heather, Ronnie, and Nanette figured out where that was and turned around at 13 miles out - I decided to push on and see if I could make the top of Engineers Pass!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Creede Mines and the Hobbit Trail

Hiking day and we decided to hike past the mines on West Willow Creek from just north of Creede and then try the Hobbit Trail. We estimated that the round trip would be just over eight (8) miles and it ended up at just over nine (9) miles. We  really wanted a chance to see all the old mines outside of Creede and this hike did not disappoint.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Creede to Copper Falls Gravel Ride

Great morning to go get a bike ride in before the afternoon t-storms and rain. Around a 39 mile out and back route on several gravel roads towards Love Lake and then up to a turn-out to see the elusive Copper Falls. Thanks to Ronnie Bryant for scouting this route out and finding where Copper Falls is located.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Driving Tour - Creede to Lake City

Loaded up everyone (Heather, Jim, Melody, and Scout) in the truck - took a drive over to Lake City to scout out future hikes and bike rides. Photo above is from North Clear Creek Falls - on the way to Lake City in Mineral County.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Alberta Peak Hike

Today we drove up to the top of Wolf Creek Pass with the Yuhn's (Jim, Melody, and Scout) to hike a portion of the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) up to Alberta Peak (11,870 feet). The  CDT crosses right at Wolf Creek Pass and the hike from the pass to the peak is right at three miles one-way.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Del Norte to South Fork Bike Ride

A busy week with moving from La Veta to Creede, an overnight trip to Albuquerque for a concert, and then a drive back to Creede yesterday. Today we drove down to Del Norte for a mixed (pavement and gravel) bike ride up to South Fork and back - a nice 42 mile ride.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It's a Funny Squeaky Sound...

Aunt Bethany says it best... About one month ago we were pulling into our RV park in La Veta and I had the truck windows down as we were maneuvering to our site. I thought I heard a sound - it's a funny squeaky sound... Unfortunately I did not investigate the sound until a week ago... (keep in mind I gave us a only a week to render the repairs before we leave tomorrow for Creede).

Monday, July 29, 2019

Bike Rides from La Veta, Colorado

I have compiled an assortment of rides that we have done (and a couple that we plan to do in the future) from La Veta, Colorado. The majority of these routes involve gravel roads and the La Veta area has some excellent gravel roads. Hopefully this will provide a good starting point for anyone visiting La Veta, Colorado and the surrounding area... enjoy!

Circle the Wagons Ride

Today's route makes a nice little 32 mile loop and included a couple of roads we had not ridden before. Since it made sort of a circle around the La Veta area we named the route after the RV park that has been our home for the past month, Circle the Wagons RV Park!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Schafer Trail Hike

Just a short drive up Cordova Pass Road north of Cuchara, Colorado will get you to the Schafer Trail. Most folks pass this trailhead by as they are headed up to the top of Cordova Pass to hike the West Spanish Peak Trail. The trailhead has parking for about two cars and only offers an out and back route that goes down then back up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

West Spanish Peak

I couldn't resist hiking up West Spanish Peak near La Veta this morning. Heather and the Bryant's decided to hike from Cordova Pass to the treeline on the West Spanish Peak trail - I left earlier so I could hike to the summit and enjoy some stunning views. I was on the trail by 7 a.m. and planned to meet everyone else back on the trail by the treeline. The photo above is at the start of the trail looking up towards West Spanish Peak.

Friday, July 12, 2019

La Veta - Spanish Peaks Gravel

Today Heather had an afternoon appointment - so we did a shorter bike ride this morning on several gravel roads we have not ridden before. One road in particular (County Road 363) -  I figured we could try now since she rides an e-mountain bike with bigger tires. Well the roads did not disappoint and we now have a new favorite gravel road!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Super Side Trip - Red River, NM

We had some errands to run in Alamosa, Colorado on Tuesday and I received a text from my former boss, Don Wendell - there was going to be a small get-together of Plano Parks and Recreation staff on Wednesday afternoon in Red River, New Mexico. So we decided that the two hour drive from La Veta to Red River wasn't that bad - so off on a side trip to visit friends and former co-workers from Plano. (Heather and I at Middle Fork Lake)

Monday, July 8, 2019

Natural Arch Hike - San Isabel National Forest

Just a short drive up past Rye, Colorado to San Isabel National Forest Trail #326 - a nice out and back hike to the Natural Arch. One of the few hikes we've done recently where we went downhill to our goal and then uphill the whole way back.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Old La Veta Pass - Uptop

Heather and I have wanted to ride this route from La Veta on the back roads to Old La Veta Pass since last summer. Unfortunately the 2018 Spring Fire went through much of this route and it was not accessible last year after the fire. Today we got to ride up to the pass and it was really an enjoyable ride.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Dikes Hike

We went to a nearby trail in Cuchara that parallels one on the many dikes in the area. The Dikes trail runs primarily north and south along the east edge of the Cuchara River Valley.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Cuchara Pass Ride

It's July so we got on the road in the morning for a bike ride up to Cuchara Pass. From our RV park in La Veta it is a simple route on Highway 12 south along the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway. The traffic is very light and the views along the way are nice!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cedar Creek Trails

Today and this past Monday I had the opportunity to ride the Cedar Creek Mountain Bike Trails here in Ruidoso. I had heard from the local bike shop that the Cedar Creek Trails were developed for mountain biking - they were  correct! I enjoyed the trails so much on Monday, I had to ride them again today.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cloudcroft - Rim Trail Hike

Returning to the Cloudcroft area today since the temperatures are about ten (10) degrees cooler here than in Ruidoso - it is summer (I know). We chose a simple out and back hike along the Rim Trail in the Lincoln National Forest. Above Heather is about three miles into our hike with a view of the Tularosa Valley and White Sands behind her.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cloudcroft - Rio Penasco Bike Ride

A warmer day in southern New Mexico so we headed up to Cloudcroft to find cooler temperatures for riding. Cloudcroft sits at around 9,000 feet and offers several possible routes for scenic bike rides. No snowplows today!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Lincoln County Gravel Adventure

A little exploratory bike ride to the northern part of Lincoln County - perfect riding conditions for the majority of the ride, then we encountered a bit of rain and hail during the last nine (9) miles back to the town of Capitan...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Big Bonito, Crest, and Aspen Trail Hike

It was a perfect day for hiking so we decided on some trails that we had not done before because we'd need to start earlier to cover the longer distance. We left from Argentina Canyon Trailhead in the White Mountains Wilderness northwest of Ruidoso. Our trail guide said it would be close to 10 miles and we ended up with 11 miles.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Nogal Canyon - Crest Trail Hike

Today we went back to a trail (Nogal Canyon) that we had hiked before and added two other trails to make a nice six (6) mile loop. We started at the Nogal trailhead and hiked Nogal Canyon Trail to the Tortolita Trail and then to teh Crest Trail - making a loop around Nogal Peak.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Capitan Figure 8 Ride

Today's ride started in Capitan, New Mexico - home of Smokey the Bear! Our goal was to explore three different gravel roads that we had not ridden before - hopefully no gates to block our way. We parked at a nearby gas station in Capitan and then rode east on US 380 to get ourselves on to Capitan Gap Road, some really nice looking gravel.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area

Today I decided to do an exploratory ride on some gravel roads (fire roads) within the Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area just NE of Ruidoso. I am glad I was on a bike with wide tires and low gears as the road went from smooth gravel to rough (very quickly). Heather let me go out on my own - as I anticipated that the roads would not be to her liking - I was correct.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Capitan Mountains Mis-Adventure

I thought I had mapped a great bicycle route with some seldom traveled gravel roads  - hoping for a nice 34 mile loop in the foothills of the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. We started out from Fort Stanton and rode State Highway 220 to US 380 about seven miles - then we turned on to Forest Service 57 to start our gravel portion of the ride.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Argentina Canyon - Turkey Canyon Hike

A chance for rain in the afternoon so we set out to the Argentina Trailhead north of Ruidoso to hike a loop of about eight (8) miles this morning. Cooler temperatures in the 60's made for a very comfortable hike as we would eventually climb to 9,200 feet.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Perk Canyon/Ridge Hike

Today's forecast: high of 81 degrees with 26% relative humidity - so we chose a morning hike on a trail just off the upper canyon area in Ruidoso. At the end of Perk Canyon Road is the trailhead for Trail #93 (Perk Canyon) and #92 (Perk Ridge). We hiked out on Perk Canyon, later this trail connects back to Perk Ridge for a nice loop.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Grindstone Mesa Ride - Ruidoso

All settled into Ruidoso, New Mexico and we chose to visit some trails that are only about two miles from the RV park. Heather went our for a hike and I decided to try a loop of trails that would take me to the top of Grindstone Mesa. The trails all start from the parking lot at Grindstone Lake and then branch out around the lake and up the mountains. The trails are fairly well maintained and do have a good variety of rocks to keep it interesting.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Riding Singletrack

During the past several weeks while we have been in Silver City, New Mexico, I have had the opportunity to ride some great mountain biking trails. There are four main areas to ride: Little Walnut Trails, Fort Bayard Trail System, Boston Hill Open Space, and Signal Peak Trails. I found time to ride everything except the Signal Peak Trails.

Up and Down Ride

Our last day in Silver City today, so we decided on a ride from the RV park out past Pinos Altos to the trail head area for Signal Peak. A nice 15 miles out and 15 miles back with right at 3,000 feet of climbing!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Twin Sisters Hike on the CDT

Last week we got a recommendation for a hike on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) that would take us to a pair of mountains called the Twin Sisters. The photo above shows the Twin Sisters in the distance. These two mountains are easy to distinguish because of the white colored rock that appears to connect them together and they appear equal in height. We drove just past Pinos Altos, New Mexico and parked about 1/4 of a mile up a fire road.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Eighty Mountain and Gomez Peak

A very windy Saturday so we decided on heading to the Gila National Forest for a hike. Just about five miles to the north of Silver City is the Gomez Peak/Little Walnut Trail System - very well maintained trails on the edge of the forest.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

City of Rocks State Park

Cool today with a chance of rain - so we drove over to City of Rocks State Park, just 26 miles southeast of Silver City. Plenty of choices for day hikes, so we made a 6.5 mile loop using the Hydra Trail, Observation Point Trail, Table Mountain Trail, and the Planet Walk.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Flying In Grant County New Mexico

I don't think we would have ever heard about the Silver City area if it wasn't for my former Plano Parks and Recreation co-worker, Lynn Welsch, who told us about this area of New Mexico. Lynn and her husband, Phillip, retired to this area several years ago. They both keep busy in retirement - Lynn is a very gifted art quilter (Mountain Spirits Studio) and Phillips flies his experimental airplane. Phillip offered me a ride in his plane to see some of the area from a better perspective.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

After recovering from volunteering at the Tour of the Gila, we visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings - a 44 mile drive north of Silver City. The drive takes about two hours as the roads twist and winds through the Gila National Forest - following the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. The view above was taken from NM Highway 15 as you get ready to drop into the Gila River Valley.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tour of the Gila - Mogollon Road Race

Our first time to visit Silver City, New Mexico and we started our first week out by attending the opening stage of the Tour of the Gila. The first stage was a 151.3 km (94 mile) road race from Silver City to the ghost town area of Mogollon. The highlight of this stage is an uphill finish in the Mogollon Mountains, with 2,100 feet of climbing in the last 6 miles.

We arrived early to the race finish area just as set-up was beginning for the day. I ended up helping setup the awards stage, finish stage, and P.A. system. All those years of working special events for Plano Parks and Recreation has paid off in retirement :) Heather is posing above just after we finished assembling the awards stage. I have volunteered to work the remainder of the event (four more days of racing) setting up and taking down the awards and finish areas - should be fun!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Palo Duro Canyon

It had only taken us about 39 years and we finally made it to Palo Duro Canyon State Park! Thanks to our friends Jim and Melody Yuhn who wanted to join us on an RV adventure to Palo Duro Canyon before we disappeared for the summer. We booked our campsites last December and ended up in the Juniper Camp Area for a three night stay. We drove up on Tuesday and had all day Wednesday and Thursday to explore what we could of the park.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dutch Mountain Ranch

It is almost a spring ritual for our friends Mike and Teresa to have us visit them when they are staying at Dutch Mountain Ranch. Dutch Mountain Ranch sits adjacent to Enchanted Rock State Park just to the north, encompassing over 1,200 acres in Llano County. This year our schedule was pretty busy but we did manage to spend almost a day and a half with them. It is pretty easy to get lost in the beauty of the area and we usually just hike and look at the birds, wildlife and scenery.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour, Day 6 - Hamilton to Clifton

Our last day of the gravel tour - still no rain and just a bit of wind from the south. Today's route was somewhat familiar as we had ridden most of the roads before.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour, Day 5 - Goldthwaite to Hamilton

Day five finds us with a very windy day leaving Goldthwaite, winds predominately from the south. Fortunately our first 20 miles was a tailwind heading north to Priddy, Texas.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour, Day 4 - Brownwood to Goldthwaite

Day four, winds picking up from the south and our route today is south and east. Plenty of headwind as we make our way from Brownwood south to the Colorado River Valley.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour, Day 3 - Comanche to Brownwood

Today was John's 55th birthday and he wanted to ride his age - 55 miles. Our original route was around 48 miles so we made some modifications to create a 55 mile route to Brownwood. Heather and I decided a shorter day of 43 miles would be nice so we took a different route out of Comanche to the south. We left about 30 minutes later and figured we would see everyone at the lunch stop in Zepher, Texas. The windmills in the distance above were a very common sight around Comanche.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour Day 2 - Hico to Comanche

Another nice spring day for some gravel riding - posing my bike at the Hico photo stop before we headed down the road. Yesterday's ride to Hico was on roads we had traveled before - today we ride new roads that we have not ventured before, plenty of gravel to discover.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Gravel Bike Tour, Day 1 - Clifton to Hico

​Springtime in Texas has usually meant a short self-contained bike tour on gravel roads somewhere near Clifton, Texas. This year Ronnie Bryant created a 6-day tour full of gravel at the top of the Texas Hill Country. We would start in Clifton and ride to Hico, Comanche, Brownwood, Goldthwaite, Hamilton, and back to Clifton. We do light-touring which means that we stay in hotels/motels - no camping or cooking. So we met the Bryant's and Pogue's in Clifton to park our vehicles and start our first day to Hico. Heather, Susan, and Nanette are pictured above at the start of our tour.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Twitching in Cozumel

Our sixth time to visit Cozumel and we booked a bird guide to take us around the island to look at local birds (I call this "Twitching"). Heather was excited to have Arturo (our guide) show us around Cozumel in search of birds for her life-list. (am I saying this right???)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Caye Caulker - Belize

A day of boat rides and learning to "Go Slow"  - We took a 30 minute boat ride to Caye Caulker, the second largest island in Belize. There are no cars here, just bicycles, golf carts, and walking... "Go Slow" is the motto for this very laid back island. Heather is posing by "The Split" - a gap in the island created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961.