still…

Otero Canyon and vicinity is still one of my favorite places to mountain bike, anywhere. True, there is a lot of great single track in this part of the country, but in my mind the Manzanita and Cedro trail systems rank near the top of the list. Since we celebrated mother’s day on Saturday, I was able to ride a nice, big, loop on Sunday and had the place to myself, with the exception of some foresters thinning out some overgrown areas.

This section of FR 106 has reverted to singletrack and offers great views and better riding.

This section of FR 106 has reverted to singletrack and offers great views and better riding.

One of the best views in the area. Only Manzano Lookout due west of here offers better, but it is in the military withdrawal and off limits now. Many miles of great single track is in the withdrawal. Really miss those trails......

One of the best views in the area. Only Manzano Lookout due west of here offers better, but it is in the military withdrawal and off limits now. Many miles of great single track is in the withdrawal. Really miss those trails……

meet Gio

In about 18 or so months, this young lab will be a full time service dog for a disabled person. He recently spent a few days with us so Ann could give his regular handlers a break and help with his training.  It’s also good for him to be in new and different environments.  Sure was fun having a pup in the house again.  Hopefully we’ll see him again soon.

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desert country

When I moved to New Mexico nearly 30 years ago, I fell in love with the desert.  Visiting the southern part of the state always brings back great memories of that time in my youth when I discovered the enchanted land.  One of my first experiences in the Dona Ana mountains involved being blindfolded for a long drive into the heart of the desert as part of an initiation into a national honorary society.  A few cohorts and I then had to navigate with maps and compass for the better part of the day through the desert and mountains to find a barbecue and cold keg of beer waiting.  Now, when I return to the Dona Ana’s, the prize is awesome singletrack and great mountain biking.  If you’re willing to explore, there’s a lot of great stuff out there.

Dona Ana caldera.

Dona Ana caldera.

 

my better half!

my better half!

Ocotillo.

Ocotillo.

DA4

In a couple of weeks, this barrel cactus will have beautiful blooms.

until next time.....

until next time…..

 

take time

to play.  I took that advice. Hopefully won’t need to be reminded again.

trailtime

night rider

Most people don’t understand when you try to describe the magic of riding trails at night.  The typical response is, “why would you want to do that?”  That reply says they will never understand, so I let it go at that and anxiously plan my next trip out……

shadowy figure of the night rider illuminating the trail

shadowy figure of the night rider illuminating the trail

alluvial

The alluvial fans that characterize the mountain fronts in these parts make for great trails and great riding.  There’s just something fresh and good about a narrow ribbon of trail that hasn’t been over-used and over-loved by the masses.  I was anticipating some snow to fall over the weekend during my ride, but it bypassed completely.  Fortunately, this morning we woke to about 3 inches of the much-needed precipitation.  Expecting more to fall later this week.  We need all we can get to dig out of this drought.  Makes me wonder why I’ve held on to my snow boarding gear the past few years………..

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looks like a nice mixture of black and blue grama grass.

looks like a nice mixture of black and blue grama grass.

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Transition area from fan dominated by grasses into mountain front zone of mostly juniper and some mixed pinon/juniper.

The Gila

We had a great time exploring the Gila near Silver City, NM for a few days.  With highs near 60 degrees and bluebird skies, it was hard to believe it is January!  There is very little snow now and trails are overall in great condition. There are some icy and snowy spots on the usual north facing slopes, but not enough to prohibit riding/hiking.  We hit up some of the trails around Signal Peak one day, and our last day did a long jaunt on the Continental Divide Trail.  The thing that always strikes me about the Gila, is the quiet and the vastness of the area.  In nearly 3 days, we didn’t even see an airplane overhead.  A worthwhile destination for anyone, whether you want to hike or bike the CDT, or backpack in America’s first designated wilderness.  You could spend a lifetime exploring here.

View from signal peak looking west, northwest.

View from signal peak looking west, northwest.

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Great singletrack.

Great singletrack.

 

 

 

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