Valle Tio Vinces, New Mexico - June 19, 2008

Valle Tio Vinces, New Mexico - June 19, 2008

HI EVERYONE,

 

LARRY AND I SIGNED UP FOR A RIDING TRIP TO THE SOUTHWEST. WE LEFT MAY 18, 2008 WITH OUR 3 HORSES AND HEADED FOR THE FIRST LEG OF OUR TRIP.

WE ARRIVED AT OUR FIRST WILDERNESS CAMP AT VALLE TIO VINCES IN NEW MEXICO, AND MET OUR FELLOW CAMPERS. WE JOINED THIS ORGANIZED TRAIL RIDE TO EXPLORE THE GILA MOUNTAINS AND WILDERNESS AREA IN SOUTHWEST NEW MEXICO.
 
WE HAD A TRAIL BOSS, ALONG WITH A WRANGLER TO GUIDE US. OUR CAMP COOK PREPARED 3 MEALS A DAY WITH MANY COOKED OVER AN OPEN FIRE. THE MEALS WERE FABULOUS! OUR CAMP WAS PRIMITIVE MEANING NO WATER, NO ELECTRIC, NO TOILETS, AND NO CELL PHONES.
 

WE ARRIVED IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND SET UP CAMP IN THE MISTING RAIN. THERE WAS A CHILL IN THE AIR AND A LIGHT WIND BLOWING. WE PUT WATERPROOF SHEETS ON OUR HORSES TO FEND OFF THE COLD. THE NEXT MORNING WE AWOKE TO A LATE SPRING SNOW AND BY LUNCH THERE WERE 8 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. IT WAS A GOOD DAY TO SET UP YOUR CAMP AND REST AFTER 5 DAYS OF TRAVEL. MOST OF THE DAY WAS SPENT SITTING AROUND THE CAMPFIRE TELLING HORSE STORIES AND GETTING TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER.

BY 11:00 AM THE NEXT MORNING, WE WERE READY FOR OUR FIRST RIDE. THE SUN WARMED US, AS WE SADDLED OUR HORSES FOR A RIDE INTO THE MOUNTAINS AT ELEVATIONS OF 8,000 TO 9,000 FT. THE AIR WAS THIN AT THIS ELEVATION WITH LESS OXYGEN IN THE AIR. BOTH THE RIDER AND HIS HORSE TOOK SEVERAL DAYS TO ADJUST TO THE REDUCED OXYGEN IN THE AIR.
 
THE TRAILS WERE MEDIUM TO SLIGHTLY DIFFICULT, AND AT TIMES ROCKY AND STEEP. OUR WRANGLER GUIDED US ALONG SOME HIGH RIDGES WITH AWESOME VIEWS OF TOWERING MOUNTAINS WITH THE VALLEYS BELOW.

IT WAS THE LAST OF MAY, AND SPRING WILDFLOWERS WERE BLOOMING ALONG THE TRAIL. SPRING SNOWS WERE LATE THIS YEAR, GIVING ALL OF NATURE A COLD REFRESHING DRINK AND NEW GREEN GROWTH COULD BE SEEN ALL AROUND. THE TALL PONDEROSA PINES WERE PLENTIFUL ALONG WITH FIR AND SPRUCE WHICH GAVE US SHADE ON THE TRAIL.

OUR CAMP COOK HAD PREPARED US A GREAT LUNCH. WE FOUND A NICE WOODED PICNIC AREA TO EAT AND REST AWHILE. AFTER LUNCH WE HEADED BACK TO CAMP.

THE NEXT DAY ALL OF THE LATE SPRING SNOW HAD MELTED. WE WENT OUT ON THE TRAIL AND RODE ALONG THE WESTERN CONTINENTAL DIVIDE AT ELEVATIONS OF ABOUT 9,000 FT.  THE HORSES AND THEIR RIDERS WERE BEGINNING TO BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THE HIGH ELEVATIONS.

ELK WERE ABUNDANT IN THE FOREST HERE AND SEVERAL WERE PHOTOGRAPHED AS THEY STOPPED TO OBSERVE THE STRANGERS IN THEIR BACKYARD. AS WE RODE ALONG IN THE SILENCE OF THIS WILDERNESS AREA, THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF NATURE FILLED YOUR SENSES. WE HEADED BACK TO CAMP AFTER A GREAT RIDE.

 

RANGER STATIONS ARE YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR INFORMATION, IF YOU CONSIDER RIDING IN THE GILA MOUNTAINS. THERE ARE NO ROADS, AND THE TRAILS ARE NOT MARKED. YOU WILL NEED A GUIDE.

 

SO LONG UNTIL THE NEXT TRAIL. WE WISH YOU MANY HAPPY AND SAFE TRAILS!

BOBBIE AND LARRY

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