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Exploratory LandEscape: Caveins, NM
mini location map2014-09-09
14 by photographer avatarimike
photographer avatar
 
Exploratory LandEscape: Caveins, NM 
Exploratory LandEscape: Caveins, NM
 
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2014
imike
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ross called late to add a hike for this morning. I posted a Meetup place and time. This morning I sat at the "A" Trail and thought about what might make an interesting half day.

By the time he'd arrived I'd decided on a canyon that I'd hiked the lower section many times... the upper reaches a few... but, there remained that mysterious mid section. I'd generally written it off as over grown and lacking in distinctive destination.

...but, there was that old story about a cave...

I'd heard about a possible grotto down in the lower section. The guy had not ventured far in but he had crawled through the opening. Of course, I could not be sure if this was the canyon he was talking about, but it put caves to the forefront as we enjoyed the lower beginner's level canyon.

As we moved into the exploratory middle section, it turned out to not be overgrown. Better, the upper Dryfall posed a nice potential destination. Additionally, side slots in the cliff walls were offering some promise for either caves or cliff top access. We finally had to turn and scramble up to the base of the cliffs to check out a promising opening. It was a small cave; did not let us up... but, it was nice.

We held to the much used shelf (Barberry Sheep) at the base of the cliffs and worked our way up and around... and came upon a much more dramatic slot that promised cliff top path... until we'd climbed up and became locked in with a monster chock block. Our termination was heralded by a horned owl, blustering away, clearly bothered by our intrusion.

so, further up and around the cliff base...

...and the next corner opened into an overhang... then, a cave... a large cave. Largest Cave I've encountered in this area. It was an obvious Sheep Shed... shelves and ledges in the cave layered with signs of sheep, and more interesting, a trail of sheep tracks disappearing back into the darker regions. A trail into a cave...?

Neither Ross or I had flashlights. My camera flash started to bother the bats so we've left the real exploratory for another day. We may find that it is turns the corner and is a dead end... or not?

We exited into familiar ground, discussing the most viable approach route that would not be too inviting for other folks. We have had features in this area abused; I'm not certain how to address the issue of such a dramatic cave so easily accessible. We need to reflect on that...

...for now, you can't get there from here!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
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imike's
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