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)



We met for a late-lunch and happy hour at the Red River Brewing Company on Main Street. It was great to see K'Ann, Kay, Don, Belinda, and Jim. Don & Kay - Jim & Belinda both have second homes in Red River. K'Ann drove up with her father Lloyd from Las Vegas, New Mexico. Heather and I stayed overnight at the Alpine Lodge just a few blocks away - a place I had last stayed at about 26 years ago (it had been updated). It was so great to be able to reconnect with everyone and catch up on their adventures of the past year.

We asked our friends for advice on what trail to hike this morning and everyone agreed that we should hike the Middle Fork Lake Trail. So after a hearty breakfast at Shotgun Willie's we drove to the end of pavement on NM 578 and then a short distance up Forest Service Road 58 to the trailhead.

With plenty of snow melt and rain this year - the Middle Fork of the Red River was flowing nicely. This 4.4 mile round-trip hike follows the Middle Fork of the Red River up to Middle Fork Lake. It is a really nice trail that has the bonus of the river along the way.

The trail is well marked, has plenty of switchbacks to insure a consistent climbing grade, and climbs around 1,240 feet up to the lake.

 There was one crossing of the river that could get you wet - if you just walked through the river like Heather! I used the rocks and logs and kept my feet happily dry :)

There are many other trails to take around the lake and beyond - but we just took a few photos and decided to head back down - still a few places to visit on our way back to La Veta.

Heather soaking her feet one last time at the river crossing - I guess she likes wet socks and boots ;)

Another waterfall along the trail - almost back to the trailhead.

We drove back through Eagle Nest, Cimarron, and Raton... Just outside of Eagle Nest we found Comanche Creek Brewery, so we stopped in for a bit and tried some craft brews.

Parting shot - at Eagle Nest we nourished ourselves at Among Friends for some tasty pizza pies!