Yesterday Jari, Greg, Jeff and I hiked a high and dry forest service trail and are giving it a AAA rating! The weather was beautiful, the trail ranged from rugged to woodsy, steep to flat and, in general, was perfect! Jari and Greg hiked a about 2/3 of the trail but Jeff and I went the whole distance – 17 miles round trip.
Flora and Fauna: The most amazing was the little green froggie that Greg spotted hiding under an oak leaf. Later in the day I spotted the lady bug orgy happening in a downed oak branch. . .
Here are some photos of the intrepid hikers, the wonderful scenery, and great weather. We really lucked out because there were lots of clouds to protect us from the sun but no monsoon storms. We also saw bear scat about every 50 yards but no bears! Dang – I really wanted to get a photo of one. Jeff and I also strategized on what to do if we saw one! His question was, “Do you want to get a picture first, or scare it away?” Of course, the photo! But we also discussed the location of the bear mace, the importance of standing our ground, how to operate the little air horn I carry (that was a waste of money as it barely tooted!), etc.
Since the trail was only about 20 minutes from Silver City Jeff and I went to the Buckhorn in Pinos Altos for a delicious buffalo burger and fries, then on to Walmart for groceries and Chevron for gas. I drove and we got home at 9:00 p.m., having to dodge only one deer and two javelina on the way through the wilderness. Plans for doing trail maintenance training today were scuttled because our park superintendent (who was to have been our instructor) had been up last last night. Five visitors had been stranded for several days 17 river crossings away from safety and had to be rescued last night. They had run out of food Sunday afternoon, so the team took them MREs (which they reportedly raved about! Naturally if you have been without food a couple of days nearly anything would have tasted great!), and shuttled them out of the wilderness using two mules for the crossing. Jeremy (superintendent) said it took about 45 minutes per crossing due to all the gear, the inexperience of the visitors with stock & river crossings & all the challenges, etc.
Labor Day weekend coming up! We expect as many as 600 visitors per day so time will tell!