Second hike of the weekend spent in the Silver City area. This was a loop to see the wagon wheel ruts as well as the big Juniper tree. The Fort Bayard Trail System features some very nice trails (some along old wagon and ranch roads) in the foothills of the Pinos Altos Mountains. The old wood hauling wagon roads were established to bring timber down from the forested areas in the Pinos Altos Mountains to meet the needs of establishing the fort, as well as for nearby mining. Water for the fort is supplied from about 15 spring boxes about 7 miles north in both Cameron and Twin Sisters source regions. Along our hike up Stevens Ranch Road, and again over near the Big Tree, we encountered sections of 6-8 inch diameter very old carbon steel pipeline, no doubt dating back to the late 1800's to early 1900's and the early days of the fort operations.
I hadn't been up to Fort Bayard in many years and will say it is worthy of a return visit just to check out the old buildings and other historic sites (dates back to 1866).
newmexicohistory.or ... yard
Following the hike the rest of the group I was with headed back to El Paso, while I headed for downtown Silver City to spend the night at the Murray Hotel and check out the Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery (less than a block away...how convenient ).
The Murray is still a work in progress, but enough has been renovated and they have been open long enough to have it be a pretty smooth operation. I found it to be far better than the old and tired Palace nearby. Enjoyed riding the elevator to and from my 4th floor room. The Little Toad was fun and packed (as the bicyclists were winding down their event). I give the place good marks for food and atmosphere (the green chile cheese fries were nice and spicy! ). Nikki, my server on roller skates, was helpful and it was a blast watching her zooming around working the tables! (Skateaway ).