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Dry Canyon Trail #5574 - 1 member in 18 triplogs has rated this an average 2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 26 2017
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Hells Hole Trail #219Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2017
imike
Hiking4.00 Miles 780 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
780 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Interesting day. Luster had never checked out the Womack Mines, so we parked up on West Side Road with the intent of hiking over to and down Dry Canyon trail, to the unmarked Hell's Hole trail... then down and around to the mines. I'd planned on going off trail over to yet another system of mines to create a nice loop up and around to West Side.

Arriving at the upper section of tailings, we discovered the heavy rains this season had placered out the side hill! Color everywhere. We gathered. I explored the upper mine entries. Dendretic rocks... Azurites... Copper... lots of fun rock! I filled my pack (brought the full frame... mistake?) and called the off trail section out of bounds. I knew I'd need the better footing and easier grades of the old mine roads.

Before we headed up the hill had to do a bit of first aid... Luster drove the spike end of his pick through his hand...! :( ... and heavy storm started to roll in. We made it into the truck just as the rains hit. 50 Degrees!

Home... weighed the pack: 91#!! So, got my leg workout.

We need to go back... find Lusters rock hammer and finish checking out the other mine system!

Good day...
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Sep 15 2015
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Dry Canyon Trail #5574Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2015
imike
Hiking5.20 Miles 890 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles
890 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not a good outing... turned back early... stone bruise making the walking not good!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Sep 01 2015
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Dry Canyon Trail #5574Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2015
imike
Hiking5.20 Miles 950 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles
950 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
hike with Ross and Mary... checking out the old Womack Mine, then the off trail back route up to Hershberger Peak. Broken rib not a real problem with the minor bit of scrambling. Progress!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
2 archives
Aug 25 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Mineral Springs Trail #5579Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2014
imike
Hiking16.90 Miles 7,500 AEG
Hiking16.90 Miles
7,500 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Day Two... out earlier... just kept moving but energy was off. I'd hoped to lot 2-3 more hours.

Better tomorrow?

Five days to go...
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Aug 05 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Lost Trail - Lincoln NFSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2014
imike
Hiking19.10 Miles 7,250 AEG
Hiking19.10 Miles
7,250 ft AEG
 no routes
I need to finish writing the trail descriptions for sections of this hike... then the linking could be completed! Bit muggy out... but a breeze did come up. I thought I would stay out longer but I did not pack enough fluids.

Nice severe hop step down a ledge to land on the side of my foot... immediate and acute sharp pain, but a few limp around steps and I was right back to striding. So odd that a kayaking injury over 25 years ago leaves me with un-sprainable ankles!

Just before the attack on my ankle, Spanish Dagger to my arm... and soon after: prickly pear jammed into my foot! Yet, mood was high... great day out. On a scale of 1 to 7,,, I'd give it a ten.

I intend shorter, easier days.. but I also intend to not miss days and yesterday was distracted... delayed,,, then denied.

Fun stuff,,,
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jul 22 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Mineral Springs Canyon NorthSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jul 22 2014
imike
Canyoneering19.00 Miles 7,900 AEG
Canyoneering19.00 Miles
7,900 ft AEG
 no routes
First thought was to hit Ortega Peak with a weighted pack to get back on track after missing that yesterday. Second thought was my energy felt low. I opted for the much easier single track up Mineral Springs... with thoughts of going slow and eliminating some of the potential egress routes up to the cliffs. I was thinking less than four hours total for the day.

At the end of four hours I was far and gone...

Ten hours seemed to round out the day nicely. Energy never did come up but I just continued to move... very slowly.

I discovered yet another old trail, this one a Spur route off Beeman Ridge. It looks like an old horse trail with some recent ATV and hiking activity. I still cannot figure why folks place cairns along canyon bottoms and ridge tops... how can you possibly get lost along either route!? Also, may be developing an alternative route up and around The Wall to allow for more hiking and less scrambling to connect the lower with the upper section of the Ridge.

It was interesting; the point I'd reached at the end of four hours was probably just a bit over a mile from my truck... yet the route I hiked from that point to descend to the truck took three hours before it finally turned to start taking me closer to the vehicle. I was three miles away by that time. But, all of that was fairly easy walking and the final two miles was nearly flat sidewalk. I'm sure it was an easier route and probably faster. The alternative descent would have included 40-50 degree slopes with cliff scrambling. Loose scree... those oh, so careful foot placements that include moments of balance and rebalance... then the searching for the next down step. And then there are those moments wherein balance fails. I think the technical term is falling. I did some of that tracking uphill. Downhill would likely have rounded out an interesting number of those moments. So, the longer, easier, safer... faster return route.

Wish I'd packed an additional couple of quarts of fluid. Day was saved with the heavy rain clouds rolled in dropping the temps 20 degrees!

So... low energy... still can move.

Note: No one spotted the weird, evil alien in the photoset... guess hikers see clouds... on other sites it was spotted by 50+ people....
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
1 archive
Jul 16 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Lost Trail Drainage NorthSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jul 16 2014
imike
Canyoneering14.60 Miles 5,000 AEG
Canyoneering14.60 Miles
5,000 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Muggy... just not nice heavy humidity!

I drove to the trailhead early, then decided to move over to something a bit easier and hopefully more interesting. I headed out n light rain wearing a parka, but immediately had to strip that off... just too oppressive in the dead air. Fortunately, the rain passed. Unfortunately, the dead air held on.

I walked up to the Indian Wells, then decided to head up Lost Trail Canyon North, with the intent of checking out the North Spur. It had been years since I'd drifted up this cut. I'd never hiked the Spur.

Very good choice; it was all good. The rock sculpturing was exceptional. The terminal dryfall included a nice staircase of rock to skirt the blockage on the right. The upper canyon held good, eventually giving way to the ridge that directly accessed the upper portion of Mineral Springs Trail.

Later in the day I paid closer attention to the mountain biker's single track route below the Springs. I discovered a number of new sections; effectively, it provides an alternative to the sucky jeep road that is the official trail. Great find!

So... I did not score the needed 8,000' AEg to stay on track for the month. I did manage to not just turn around and go home in response to the depressing weather. I scored some great hours out and about.

Sun finally came out... light breeze teased the edges of comfort now and then.

I be happy. :)
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jul 07 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega PeakSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2014
imike
Hiking26.00 Miles 10,100 AEG
Hiking26.00 Miles
10,100 ft AEG
 no routes
Not sure where my brain was on the day... needed toe socks and shoe liners for this mileage; had neither. Very tender/sore feet by end of day. Very long day. Carried the weight augmented pack to ortega peak... then shed half the weight (25#) for the upper portion. Looped around and back up to the peak later in the hike, and added the 25# weight vest back into the adventure. I was beat up by the end of the day. Monday augmented hikes are only supposed to be 3-4,000' hikes with 10-12 miles. thinking I needed to play catchup on AEG motivated me to keep heading up the hill.

Legs beat up and cramping in the evening... a bit worn out today. I'm not doing the planned remodel work but instead resting up for the planned Wednesday hike which is to be long mileage and bigger AEG. I still can't seem to bridge the 12,000' day mark. I'm effectively out of shape save for some strength and endurance aspects. No speed... no fluidity of movement.

took a fall on Sunday... shelf I was standing on descending a small falls broke away. Major pain for such a minor injury. Felt torso wracked during this hike... still stiff today.

Falling is just a part of off trail... need to get that across to the Meetup hikers.

So... July begins!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jun 07 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
A Trail #119Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2014
imike
Hiking19.50 Miles 8,800 AEG
Hiking19.50 Miles
8,800 ft AEG
 no routes
Not the earliest of starts, but early enough. Perfect temps as I climbed the "A" Trail... cool air was flowing down the hill and most of the ascent was nicely in shadow. Once above 8,000' the air was just cool, even in full sun. Part of that may have been the steady all day breezes?

The crutch continues to slow the pace... what should have been a brisk 9 hours was closer to 12 hours.

Descending, it remained cool and nicely breezy to below 6,000'. All in all... just a great day out.

I hit Ortega Peak going and coming... no way to double log on the links?

Big, fluffy Thunderheads piling up over the mountain as the day ended... must have been great in the shade up of top!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jun 02 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
A Trail #119Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2014
imike
Hiking17.40 Miles 7,600 AEG
Hiking17.40 Miles
7,600 ft AEG
 no routes
There may have been more AEG today... hard to track wandering off trail and up and down the ridges. I was tired from Sunday... slightly late start, but still out by 4:30am. Even the breeze was warm at the lower elevations! Record heat in the forecast for this week! Time to start freezing the water bottles! 20# weight augment today, mostly fluids. I get to go lighter tomorrow, but I have to mix in some pushups/setups over the course of the hike...? Gloves and a seat pad?

Oven surround heat when the breeze died in the midafternoon final hours. Time for more dilute mixes in the drinks... and ice... lots of ice!

I need to average 6700' per day. I had thought the way to do an easy 200,000' month would be to train way up... get up early and go fast on a clear, steep trail... get it over with before midmorning. Instead, I'm plodding out the miles with a crutch, scoring the AEG through applied hours of effort. Maybe I'll get to try that first approach in a month this Fall?

Looking forward for this month to be over and done!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
May 28 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
A Trail #119Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar May 28 2014
imike
Hiking13.90 Miles 5,700 AEG
Hiking13.90 Miles   8 Hrs   20 Mns   1.67 mph
5,700 ft AEG
 no routes
Early start was lessened by too little sleep... I'd planned to log longer hours but I couldn't reach the cached water on Ortega Peak, so I headed back down early. Ran into Jim just above the trailhead; he was just headed out at noon, up into the heat I was happy to be getting out of.

More sleep... more fluids... longer hours: all goals for JUne?
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Apr 21 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
A Trail #119Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2014
imike
Hiking20.70 Miles 8,700 AEG
Hiking20.70 Miles
8,700 ft AEG
 no routes
Day was scheduled for a timed ascent to Ortega Peak... and a made an early start with every intention of getting back early to work projects.

But...

Once hiking, I felt more like going longer and higher; score some of the upper elevation cool. It also felt like one of those "first days of the rest of your life..." so I carried along a notebook to plot out and re-plan the coming months of training. That is pretty much how the day progressed. Clouds rolled in midday. I scored some up down laps off Karr Canyon road. Eventually, I came back down and turned up the Ortega Spur trail, then realized it really needed to be swept, so I went down to the tools and brought them up... and swept the entire lower slab rock area.

Looked as if I might make it back to the trailhead before 4pm but I ran into Joseph and Devon (local dentist?) running up the "A" trail. They asked me if I knew where the caves were... so, I hiked them up to the "A" Bluffs and then on to Leah's Lair. They seemed stoked!

I snapped pics of them doing both features then showed them the trail connections to the old Gold Mine and the connecting spur to Terri'a Cut...

Long day without food and just 60 oz of OJ... time to hydrate up and figure out what would make a nice cutting dinner.
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 11 2014
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Saturday Training loop, NM 
Saturday Training loop, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2014
imike
Hiking16.90 Miles 5,600 AEG
Hiking16.90 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.18 mph
5,600 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Drove over an hour early for this posted hike... and Brenda showed up right after I arrived! We enjoyed an interesting loop, including the mud and snow over in Dry Canyon. Ortega Peak nice... weather great... nice interlude with a small herd of elk on the north side of Hershberger Peak (Brenda thought she heard water running... I stopped and noted it was Elk passing below us through the snow... and sure enough, they soon emerged, rounding into the ridge/canyon at the top of Marble Canyon North.

We stopped at the Fissure for awhile (likely longer down time than I noted) then took an end of day break at the old Gold Mine.

These progressive Saturday training hits are about to step up into all day affairs with starts in the dark... oh, well!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Apr 21 2013
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Pig CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Apr 21 2013
imike
Canyoneering9.00 Miles 2,650 AEG
Canyoneering9.00 Miles
2,650 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
1st trip
I'm Back??? :?

Been having a hard time getting back into my harder Sunday hikes. Today was no exception. Up early but not out the door… finally, out the door, but not up to the trailhead. Instead, assorted errands, and finally, over to the Chamber of Commerce hotspot to go online. Logged a few hours catching up on some research and emails. Finally, headed out of town to at least log some miles looping around on some old Jeep tracks on the plateau and ridges east of Dry Canyon. They’ve been on the list for a long time… and, that would just be easy walking and fairly level ground. I could do that.

Driving up the hiway, on impulse I turned into Dry Canyon… Glancing up at the Buttes inspired the detour. The old jeep tracks were up on top of those cliffs. Instead of driving up and hiking down, I could simply hike off trail… ascend and access the tracks… then loop around on one of the real forest trails back down and into Dry Canyon. It would be less than a mile of off trail… it might inspire some renewed motivation? It would illustrate clearly how out of shape I am. Yeah… that might be a good day.

10:00 am…The best approach… hard call. I decided to hike up an old mining road that shot straight up the hill towards the cliffs towering above… looked as if it might get up a goodly way up… and it headed for a break in the lower cliffs that would allow me to get up the base of the upper cliffs. From there, I should be able to follow the cliff around into the canyon to the south, ideally finding a break that would give me access to the top…?

It mostly did just that. Once above the lower cliffs I intersected a game trail that wound around towards the canyon cut… did not even have to go up to the base of the cliffs… it angled ever upward such that as I turned into the canyon I was at the cliffs, and around the first corner: a cleft that allowed upward progress.

A little earlier I’d been thinking about the joy of trekking off trail, out and about with new around every corner… idiotic grin plastered to match the too simple thought process of one foot ahead of the other. Life: too good!

Now, Climbing up and through that overgrown, rocky cut I had a set of interesting thoughts: I imagined I was someone else; their thoughts might be one of two: first: “Wow… what a great day! This is good stuff.” OR:… “Wow… how did I get myself into this! I gotta quit reading those damn off trail route descriptions… or better yet, they gotta make Imike quit writing them!”

The two counter balancing perspectives probably size up the opposing personalities that might find themselves up in that nasty little cut. I was loving it. Go figure.

Up and through the short scramble, I found an easier slope that lead me up and through the final upper rock ledges… and on to the plateau. Within 100 yards I sighted vehicle tracks… soon thereafter a water catchment tank and one of the old jeep roads.

It was an easy uphill amble from there… with ever nicer vista views.

I came across a pile of cans and jars… a 30 year old collection including dozens of Bell pint jars. Most are not broken; I’ll have to think about reclaiming a few of those; the tops are still the same size to hold new lids.

The Jeep routes wound up and over the ridges, angling south and east towards Forest Rd 90, West Side Road. The various offshoots were likely the result of jeep/ATV ambles to the various ridge high points. One in particular caught my attention. It turned back towards Dry Canyon. I thought it might offer interesting overviews, or maybe a possible descent to the canyon floor. Lots of old mining activity in Dry Canyon… might be an old cut?

So… instead of doing the plan (that flat Jeep trail hike)… I added in the second deviation of the day. I started out and down the off shoot.

It was good.

Eventually, the double track ran out, still high above the cliff levels, but there was a faint track off and down into an adjacent drainage… and I could see a continuation of that route back out of the drainage on the far side of the canyon (…at least I thought I could see that…?) With the thought that the route ascending on the far side guaranteed that I would have little trouble making it down and into the canyon, I went ahead and down.

…and was once again gifted with some bit of luck… sort of. It was easy to get down and into the canyon.

I’d found a traversing route for canyon access from the top of the Buttes Ridges.

Of course, the nature of luck… it can be good… it can be bad.

Over the years, as I’ve guided various hiking groups, and counseled myself about just how to explore canyons, the one constant has been: if you do not have the rope, the gear, the skills… do not descend an unknown canyon.

You explore up if you are just out hiking. Down climbing is a big no-no.

I headed down.

It was great. Rock slabs, boulders… easy down climbing on mostly good rock. Then… the rock was not so good. I hit a section of falls in the 15 to 20 foot range where the rock was just plain bad… a bit of traversing was called for… and, it brought up the issue I’d felt earlier in the day when ascending the cliffs: my problem with heights.

I’m never great with exposure. At times I’m really bad. I’ve been know to crawl on all fours on nearly level ground. That would be one of the really bad days. Today, more in the medium level; I was feeling it when I should not have been feeling it, but I was still functional. No big problem… move more carefully, take care. Last week’s flu fever probably incited the problem today?

More down scrambling… and then… a ledge.

A cliff… a 70’ waterfall feature.

Oh, yeah.

But… there were signs of game moving off up and around… ideally down and around to the left. I slipped over into their tracks and began to once again wish deer were taller. Fitting in and under the tree limbs would have been nicer with another 24” clearance. As the track curved down and around the edge of the falls I heard a noise from below, and looked down in time to see 8-12 Mountain Sheep bound out from the undercut caves in the falls. I grabbed the camera… caught a few pictures.

As I put the camera away it occurred to me that this trail might be one of their trails, and unlike deer, they can go places I might not enjoy…!

They did.

Way too close to the edges of the cliffs… not good. Then, they combined cliff edges with the low hanging tree branches. I was crawling and scooting along, at times with my legs dangling over the 40’ drops. I am not a leg dangling kind of guy. On my best day on a mountain I don’t dangle. This was no where close to one of my even better days. Interesting moments.

Fortunately, when they traipsed to the bottom, they did it down a scree cut lined with scrub… no rock hopping down the cliff! Nice.

From there, it was about an overgrown mile with some intermittent bouldering that was just fun. I’d finally decided the hard was over. I could see enough game activity to know they’d been moving from the Dry canyon bottom up this canyon. Hard was over.

Or not… about as fast as I’d drawn that conclusion the game activity concentrated into a game hiway angling up and out of the canyon bottom. That is usually a good sign that none of them were capable of moving down the bottom of the cut, and sure enough, around the next corner… that tell tale edge of solid rock spanning the width of the canyon… yet another water fall.

Luck… it flowed my way. I walked up and peaked over… it was a nice bedrock falls, tilted too steeply for game, but a fun slide for a tired old man.

Below the falls, the canyon showed signs of heavy use… cattle and lost hikers had cleared out all the over growth. Soon, I found an active spring supplying a tank and cattle trough… and from that point to the bottom of Dry Canyon… a jeep track.

20 minutes of walking down the Dry Canyon trail returned me to the jeep track where my morning ascent had begun… another 15 minutes of slow walking had me back at my truck.

I downed the remaining orange juice (half gallon for the day… fasting day, but 1000 calories of juice with potassium to keep me from cramping up) and began to wonder whether I could remember enough of the details of the day to put together this Triplog… and the Trail Route Descriptions that I should compose. I need to get some kind of voice recorder… note the highpoints as they happen. I guess that tape might become an attachment? I don’t do videos, but I guess I could do a narrative??? Probably a bad idea.

So… wrap this up. Thinking about tomorrow’s recovery hike… and what meal I’ll get to enjoy tomorrow night to break fast on!!!

Life be very good… :y:

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pig Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Dry enough to move the forest towards closure, but water flows into Dry Canyon!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 22 2012
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega PeakSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jan 22 2012
imike
Hiking24.00 Miles 5,100 AEG
Hiking24.00 Miles
5,100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Went looking for Courtney Mine trail... and finally found it! Turns out to be a really dull trail linking the West Side road area over to Karr Canyon, but down in the populated section of karr... so, maybe good as a mountain biking traverse to avoid hiway 82...? Take Westside back into High rolls and connect with Fresnal Canyon to make it all the way down the mountain out of traffic... easier than the hyper steep trails.
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Oct 27 2010
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Oct 27 2010
imike
Canyoneering14.20 Miles 5,300 AEG
Canyoneering14.20 Miles
5,300 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Continuing with my Alamo area canyon and ridge off trail exploratories, today was one I really expected very little to come of. So many of these narrow out, cliff out, or shrub out, forcing an early exit to an adjoining ridge to get out of the drainage. This one, well it was not like that. It was a delight. While no great towering drama of side cliffs, it did have a constantly changing rock formation to enjoy. There were numerous bedrock ledges nicely angled up, and narrow passages, minor bouldering... and a great 40' slotted stairstep waterfall formation. The first 2.5 miles was just nice. Above that point, the canyone cliffed out, forcing a very shrubby bushwhack, then a 15' vertical climb... very nice chimney crack (no exposure!!) that I thought was going to be a piece of cake until I got to the top edge and noted it had a toll keeper: young agave blocking the lip. Oh, well...

From there on, the canyon narrowed... lots of bouldering and minor climbs, with lots of rotten rock. Still, it provided a clear path all the way to the top. Can't complain about that.

From there, I followed the Ortega/Dry Canyon Traverse over into Dry Canyon... first time to follow that path all the way down to the bottom of Dry... and though I've hiked Dry Canyon dozens of times, I could not begin to imagine where this trail intersected. Once over and down I could see why... it starts out as just a non-path off of a jeep track. If you did not know it was there, you'd likely never find its beginning.

I stopped for a lunch break and was surprised to have my legs cramping up... must have been from the vertical climbs; not used to those yet and probably used way too much energy. Oh, well... after I got going again it cleared up.

Once over into Dry I figured I might as well do the long loop around the back side of Ortega Peak, hit Hershberger Peak, then return on the old reliable T119. Noted that they had installed new east side trailhead sign for T119... but in a mile from West Side Road??? Odd... probably to allow ATV to have access to that mile portion... but a bit odd to have a big sign out a mile in from the road access!

It was interesting to spend some time gazing across the drainages. As I slowly hike all the ridges and canyons the area is coming into a different perspective focus for me... with connections and disconnects now included when I look at an area. Years more needed to cover it all, just in this one small area. More and more I am coming to like and appreciate the hiking here. The day hikes in Tucson were nice, but you still have to hop in a car to get to them, and the canyons there do not rival what is here. There must be over 20 ridge and canyon hikes here in Alamo within walking distance of my house.

If I continue to discover little gems like Ortega Canyon, they'll be nice years.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Feb 24 2010
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Beeman CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Feb 24 2010
imike
Canyoneering28.10 Miles 4,138 AEG
Canyoneering28.10 Miles   11 Hrs   42 Mns   2.40 mph
4,138 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Okay... it's a bit less than 10 hours into my hiking day... I'm sitting here on this rock. Sitting is a good thing. I'm tired and a bit foot sore, and reflecting on just exactly what brought me to be on this particular rock. It is not where I'm supposed to be.

The first half of the planned day went of without a hitch... I explored and documented Beeman Canyon. It was a very nice drainage... with a really great giant rock section (the Jumble). It was a demanding bit of hiking although my GPS did not think so; it kept logging me out on breaks, thinking that I'd stopped, when in fact I was just going too slow for it to believe I could really be doing any work. Just the opposite; that was the hard work area... slow and go bouldering. It turned out to be a much more spiritual experience than I'd planned, but that is not really a bad thing (... all that blood sacrifice!) I hit the peak feeling pretty good... and then decided to change the planned day. I was supposed to drop off the south side of the peak, traverse the ridge and drop down to cut Lost Trail... following that back home. But, once on top I did not feel like finding a downclimb throught the cliffs, nor did I relish the thought of making my way across the snow covered ridge, much less down the hill over untried ground... it just sounded nicer to hit the trails and make my way home the longer way. So, off I went.

Now, the one negative aspect of the trail: it heads off in the opposite direction of home... adding 3-6 miles over all to the total. It also dropped down 1600' on the wrong side of the mountain... which all had to be regained, plus more, to loop back over to the homeward side. These thoughts weighed heavy on me as I headed off... and I think they influenced my pattern of not so good decisions from that point onward for the day.

As I made my way down to Dry Canyon, then hiking up the trail towards Ortega Peak, I kept gazing to the ridge line above me on my right, and noticed what appeared to be a lower cut to the ridge... and it occurred to me that if that cut were as easy to climb as it appears, and crossed the ridge about the right distance north of Ortega Peak, then it could save me 3-4 miles of hiking, and possibly cut off 300-500 feet of climbing... both very appealing. So, off and up I went. It was a fun climb, mostly up a bedrock cut. What I failed to notice, was that the cut curved and angled away from Ortega... slanting back to the north. Now, I did have a GPS unit that with one glance I could have seen the error of my way... but, no... I hiked up and up... and, low and behold, crested the ridge to find myself back up where I had been two hours earlier... that place where I decided I did not want to do the cliff, ridge, snow thing. And now, this late in the day, it was no longer even an option. I needed to get off the mountain before it got dark... so, once again I was trailing down to Dry Canyon!

And to this rock... 17 miles into my hiking day... maybe a bit over an hour and a half left before sunset... I'm guessing 4 miles of off trail wash will carry me out of the mountains... and unfortunately, all the wrong direction... with, I'm guessing six miles back to the mouth of Beeman Canyon, looping around the foothills. Now, if it were just those ten miles, not all that bad, but the kicker for this day: I did not drive to the trailhead; I hiked that 5.5 miles from my house! So... am I looking at those 4 miles down canyon, six miles around, then 5.5 miles home on already beat up feet?

Oh well.

I did get lucky. It was 4 miles down... and I was able to slice the homeward section down to 5 miles.. but, the traverse was only two miles around!

13 hours... 23 minutes... home at 8:30pm

I be tired...
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Sep 17 2009
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Dry Canyon Trail #5574Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Run/Jog avatar Sep 17 2009
imike
Run/Jog21.10 Miles 1,915 AEG
Run/Jog21.10 Miles   5 Hrs   12 Mns   4.06 mph
1,915 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
freezing rain forced me off the hill... doing an out/back run/walk at the lower elevation. Not too bad.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
average hiking speed 2.08 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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