Snow Lake

Fort Sill Apache Fire Dancers

September 24, 2022

While we both recover from Covid — yes, we finally succumbed, after 2½ years of careful masking, distancing, vaxing and boosting — we witnessed a presentation by the Fort Sill Apache Fire Dancers that was part of the 2022 Gila River Festival. Positioning ourselves very far from other people, and with a giant zoom, we captured a few images and some fuzzy video.

Fort Sill Apache Fire Dancers

The Tower

Ongoing

We made a deal: If we moved to Silver City, Dennis got the ham radio tower of his dreams!

chiseling

Chasing the Cumbres & Toltec

August 14-22, 2022

Thirty-six years ago, I took a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, and fell in love with the Southwest. Since then, I've always had a soft spot for North America's highest steam train, and we always stroll around the railyard any time we're in the area. This summer, when wildfires closed all of New Mexico's high elevation National Forest lands, we zeroed in on the Chama area as a possible alternative.

Back to the White Mountains

July 6-9, 2022

We've made a number of trips to the White Mountains, but we were always somewhat put off by the crowds — especially when we stayed in campgrounds. Over the last three years, we've become better acquainted with the area, and we've learned to venture farther off the beaten path.

Boogying down the hill

Ham Radio Field Day in the Gila National Forest

June 23-26, 2022

Every year in June, we gather with fellow hams for Amateur Radio Field Day, to test and demonstrate their ability to communicate with limited equipment in challenging locations. Elevation and a good radio horizon are key, but so is a pleasant environment, since half the fun is camping with your buddies.

field day tent

Big Lake

June 13-19, 2022

There's only one cure for those mean, low-down waiting-for-the-monsoon blues. But where to run when all New Mexico national forests — except, oddly, the Gila — were closed due to fire and extreme fire danger?

Floating on Big Lake

The Sacramento Mountains

May 16-May 23, 2022

When I was growing up in northern Minnesota, I noticed that when my father read in bed at night, it wasn't "Popular Mechanics" or "Field & Stream". It was maps. Paper maps. He must have infected me with his cartographilia, because map reading is my super power. And it can come in really handy when a very well-planned trip goes totally off the rails.

Overlooking White Sands

Three Rivers Petroglyphs

May 17, 2022

A return visit to Three Rivers was, if anything, even more impressive than our initial exploration on a bone-chilling winter day in December, 2016. Here are the best of the hundreds of photos we took on our 2022 trip. How remarkable that there are so few repeats!

Three Rivers petroglyph panel

Little Cherry Creek

May 3, 2022

Little Cherry Creek Trail #241 doesn't appear on any of my maps, but we came across its junction with the CDT during our Twin Sisters hike. There is a lovely saddle at the juntion, and on a warm May day, we decided to try approaching from NM 15.

Mountain Short-Horned Lizard

Sycamore Canyon/Devil's Garden

April 24, 2022

For CDT Trail Days, we returned to Sycamore Canyon Trail #234, which is part of the Continental Divide Trail Gila alternative. This time we made it all the way to the "official" location of Devil's Garden, including the famous "Regis-Tree".

Regis-Tree

Alum Camp/Alum Canyon

April 15-16, 2022

We eagerly signed on when our dear friend Brenda T suggested a backpack along the Gila River Trail. We've done this trail many times, but always as a day hike. We'd never taken two days and spent the night at Alum Camp.

Alum Camp

Twin Sisters

April 5, 2022

The Twin Sisters are a pair of bullet-bra volcanos bridged by a mysterious white ridge that is visible from almost anywhere in Silver City. I've been obsessed by them since my first days in my new hometown. What was this ridge made of? Was it possible to hike across it? A number of trails appeared to link to it, but only via a long and difficult hike:

Twin Sisters

Cooke's Town, At Long Last

March 13, 2022

Uninspired by our exploratory hike at Cooke's Peak, we gleefully set out cross-country, eventually making our way to an elusive ghost town in a high valley on the north side of the mountain.

rusty old truck

Snow Hike in Chloride Flats

March 11, 2022

A sudden snowstorm blew in overnight, and we hustled out of the house, hoping for a snow hike. We ended up on an abandoned Forest Service road that connects with the trails on the ridge behind our house.

snow hike

Aguirre Spring/Dripping Springs

February 25-28, 2022

When our friend Brenda T. proposed a hike to Drippings Springs, Kim R-S suggested we tack on a camping trip. Our initial foray into the Organ Mountains was a pleasant surprise, both for the scenery and for fascinating history, including an interesting connection to the Butterfield Trail.

Aguirre Spring

Massacre Peak

February 19-20, 2022

Week after week, we return to the Cooke's Peak area, drawn by its fascinating history and expansive views of classic high desert terrain. We failed to find an alternate route to Cookstown, but in addition to perfect desert camping, we enjoyed a fine bushwhack to Massacre Peak and some success hunting for bits of carnelian.

view from the saddle

CDT: US 90 to the Co-Op Mine

February 6, 2022

We got a wild hair after breakfast to hike another chunk of the CDT. We chose a section south from US 90 to the Co-op Mine, which we thought would be just a nice Sunday afternoon stroll. The trail surprised us by climbing to an open granite ridge with stupefying views. But the icing on the cake was a final scamper to the top of a small mountain whose summit was capped with the purest white quartz.

quartz-mountain

Fluorite Ridge

January 29-30, 2022

Hooray! Josh and Carole were coming for a visit! But where, among all the fantastic destinations within 100 miles of Silver City, to take them? After weighing the weather, travel time and the length of Winter days, we returned — once again! — to Fluorite Ridge.

Fluorite Ridge

Fort Cummings

January 21, 2022

Our obsession with the historic area near Cooke's Peak continues unabated. With the bathroom rehab project finally behind us, we took a day off to explore the former site of Fort Cummings at Cooke's Spring.

Fort Cummings

The Yellow Bathtub

December, 2020 - January, 2022

The guest bath at the Bungle-Oh was a sad little room with gray walls, a handmade washstand and fake woodgrain peel-and-stick vinyl flooring. We knew we wanted to replace the shower stall with a bathtub, but we had no idea how much work it would take!

Starvation Draw

December 14 and 25-26, 2021

We took a few days off from scraping, scrubbing, sanding and painting to get acquainted with a storied area near Cooke's Peak. Traversed by the Butterfield Trail, it is also home to two major petroglyph sites and several abandoned fluorite mines.

petroglyphs

Box Canyon

December 4, 2021

Two years ago while exploring in the vicinity of Gila Lower Box, we peeked into a canyon and wondered if there would be possible to make our way down. It's been on my list ever since, and an unusual 70-degree day in early December was the perfect opportunity.

Box Canyon

Thanksgiving at Faywood Hot Springs

November 24-26, 2021

This Thanksgiving, we decided to try something we never do — just relax! So we booked a couple of nights at Faywood Hot Springs, which is a short drive from home now that we live in Silver City.

cienega

Hells Half Acre Redux

November 18, 2021

We returned to Hell's Half Acre with new hiking buddy Susan Z-M, hoping to make it all the way to the slots after stumbling upon the cairned trail on our last attempt