Monday, July 21, 2008

Sandias At Last

The monsoons rains have been soaking the mountains.  The Forest Service has lifted their closures.  The pics say it all.  The parched high country has come alive!  

These pics were snapped on a loop from Canyon Estates, along the Lower Fawlty Trail through the dense woods on the east side of the Sandias, up to the Crest on Bart's Trail, then south along the Crest Trail to point of beginning.  About 16 miles, by a wild guess.  I saw only three people the entire day.  Go figure.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Hike in the Sandias...Not!

Pack waiting by the door ready to go.  The coolness of the early morning an hour before sunrise. I'm heading out for my first hike since my auto accident in Mexico (previous post).  I'm anxious, a bit nervous about going for a 20 miler in the Sandias on legs that haven't covered a trail of any sort in four months.  

And then I remembered.  

Dang!  #@%$#%$#)!!!!&(*&&%&%!!!!

The Sandias are still closed on account of fire danger and stupid people.  

So instead of shots of South Sandia Peak and the meadows at Deer Park, I can offer only this pic of my Jamis road bike.  I switched out my Vasque trail shoes for my Sidi racing shoes, my indestructible, twenty-year old Sportif canvas shorts for my padded Louis Garneau bike shorts. My Eclipse and I did sixty plus miles, including a climb from the Rio Grande to the bottom of the Tram.  I'm guessing at least a 2,000 foot climb in elevation.  It felt good.

A great ride.  I think my stamina is back.  But, nonetheless, it wasn't the plan.

I learned from the Tram ticket taker that the night before some guy had sneaked into the Sandia Wilderness.  I've never seen a backcountry ranger in those mountains, so the chances of apprehension are minimal.  Unless you suffer a heart attack and call for help on your cell phone.  After the helicopter pulled him off the mountain, as he was in the ambulance heading for the hospital, the rangers handed him a citation.  He'll get a bill for the rescue when they add the numbers. 

Biking's great.  But I want to hike the mountains out my back door!  So come on rain!  Freshen the high country, sprinkle your blessings on our Sandias, and may the yellow USFS tape across the trail be gone!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

After the Accident, Back in Action

This blog has been dead since February.  That's because in early March I was in a car accident just north of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  We were T-boned.  I saw it coming and had two thoughts:  1) we were all going to die and 2) if we don't, what a nightmare it will be dealing with the Mexican legal system.  We survived, all of us.  We did have to pay a bribe demanded by the Federale.  That's all I ever want to see of the Mexican legal system.

God bless the safety engineers at Honda.  The Chrysler that hit us broadside was totaled.  My wife was bruised on the side where she was knocked into me.  Otherwise, not a scratch.  I got the worst of anyone in the CRV.  I suffered a concussion and awful whiplash.  The concussion cleared after 48 hours.  The whiplash has taken three months to resolve itself, and it's still nagging me, sometimes freezing up my entire left side.  But I'm pushing through it every week, getting better with every run and work out. 

I'm recovered enough to take up hiking and biking again.  I did the Tour de Bosque 50 mile bike ride to raise funds for AIDS research two weeks ago.  Tomorrow I am heading into the Sandias to see if I have the stamina for a long hike in the Summer heat.  I'm sure I'll be fine.  I hope to have photos to prove it.