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HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Pecos (Santa Fe) trip report - a bit different after fire closure on 08/16/2011 23:37:49 MDT Print View

The Pecos wilderness next to Santa Fe, NM reopened after being closed for about 2 months due to fire danger.

Coming from the south, I start at Jack's Creek and the smell of nearby horse trailers is pretty strong:
Pecos start

Switchbacks are divided between hiker and horse so you aren't climbing through the horsey doo (nice) switchbacking

On the ridgetop, I am surprised at the soil dryness - this area is usually muddy, though the vegetation looks lush from the monsoon rains (nice for hiking but bodes ill for drinking water):
ridgetop trail

.. so far the tree rich start of the trail has a burnt smell usually reserved for dry season down south is another observation.

Approaching the junction with Beatty's trail, normally this would be the end of a muddy slog but not this time:
intersection with Beatty's approach

First trail junction appears soon:
trail junction looking east

Reminded me of an old ABC Saturday morning educational cartoon lyric, "[trail] junction, what's your function?" - must have been the altitude at about 11,000 ft. I need to get out more ....:
trail junction looking south

Summer cottages are hidden and you cannot make out the road to the world famous Hamilton Mesa, the veg being so lush.

Some flowers:
trail junction looking west

Cattle roam some parts of the Pecos:
Pecos cattle roaming

Later I would see them up higher looking for water - a first

Trail ...
Pecos trail onward

.. as I started wondering about water

... and more trail:
and more pecos trail

Normally there's some springs I refill at but not this time. A little worried, getting more worried.

Made camp and found water.
making camp

If I hadn't found water, with my lighter pack I could have gone back the approximately 9 miles. But then I would have missed ....

Full moon over camp
full moon

The goodness that is orange stuff from Mountain House lasagna:greasy spoon

Actually made a soup but it was so dry, a soup is what I needed:chow time

Deer at Baldy lake looking for a drink (another first)deer

Saw cattle coming up the next morning which was really unusual.

Baldy lake was an epicenter of wildlife and livestock, and the water was brackish. Normally there are plenty of springs and one does not see such a conglomeration of animals. So I said bye and vowed to return next year when water was not in such short supply.

I could have gone with a 40F quilt but luckily brought my Moment since there were biting flies, bees buzzing about, etc...

Note: I will be editing the above to straighten the pics ..

Edited by hknewman on 08/17/2011 11:03:04 MDT.