Adventure Location: Spring Canyon SP, NM
April has not been a wonderful month in Deming, NM. The temperatures have been excellent and bright sun every day. However the winds have been difficult on 2 of every 3 days it seems. The winds pick up the dirt and pebbles and blast everything in sight. The day of this hike the wind was blowing very strongly. The hope was that the wind would keep the flies, that ran me out on the last attempt, would be suppressed. It was a good bet.
After moseying over to the park from the Castle, the Truck chose a nice parking spot near the trailhead. Little did the OFM know he is not man enough for what was ahead. The brim full 20 oz water bottle was placed in it’s holder on my belt. My wide brim straw hat was tethered by the chin strap to my head and away the Team went. Here is the start of the trail.
Very quickly it was apparent this trail required my attention as to the footing. There were many loose stones and places to twist an ankle. It was entirely satisfactory but care was needed.
The trail winds up the canyon and climbs very quickly. The scenery was nice but some green would have been nicer. The drought is strong here in the canyon.
No trail map was available but the trail was well defined so no problem was expected. However there is at least one spot to make and error. The trail came to a fork a little past this spot where a rest break was taken.
Naturally my choice was WRONG AGAIN AS USUAL. The main trail is the fork to the left. My choice was to the right. It looked more interesting. And as it was to be proven, it is more interesting. The path followed the edge of the wash up down and around until it came to this old water trough. Actually there is plenty of fresh “evidence” of recent cattle occupancy in the area.
From here the trail got rather faint which gave me a clue my feet were on the wrong path. They kept on going forward so we wound around until we came to another watering trough form times of old.
At this point the trail stopped totally. A look around convinced me that the proper trail was up on the ridge to my left. As it worked out the Team made our way through some serious brush and down into a sort of grotto. Looking upstream showed that a person alone had no business going that way. The cattle evidence was abundant and seemed to lead down stream. So my feet led the way around a corner or two and yippee on the side of the grotto was a place to scramble safely up to the top. Nope I did not get a picture since both hands were occupied holding me on the side of the wall.
Up on top finally and there was the trail. The meandering path my feet led me on was a lot more interesting than the main trail turned out to be on the return trip down the mountain. So right turn and on up the trail the Team went.
By now my lungs were telling me that they needed me to slow way down. The pace was noticeably slowed. It was obvious the altitude of over 5000 feet was taking its toll on me. I certainly wish my body was tougher than this, but it is what I have to work with. Onward the stroll continued for a good ways. Finally it was more stop and breathe time than climbing time. A check of the water bottle showed a bit less than half a bottle remaining. RATZZZZ it is time to turn around.
From topographical maps later, my estimate is the Team only made it about halfway up the trail. My personal safety rules required me to turn around and head back from this point.
As it was the water bottle was emptied a couple of hundred yards before the Truck was reached. Yep good safety decision it was. But the adventure was not over yet.
The passenger side door of the Truck was open fully and my position was next to the passenger seat as my hiking gear was removed and placed into its place in the truck. As my water bottle was being placed into its holder between the front seats, a strong gust of wind slammed the Truck door into the back of my head. It rang my bell good enough that I did not feel my face hit the seat cushion. When I regain my senses, my nose was mashed on the seat, my glasses were askew and the door was banging into the back of my right leg thigh.
After that mess was under control, it was realized that a bad headache was working on me now. Thankfully there was not a sign of blood from all this. It did require me to sit in the driver seat a few minutes before it seemed all my senses had returned. Simple events like this are great reminders that all the safety precautions a person alone can take might still not be enough. It does not stop me but does cause me to think about what else can be done to be safe out in the wild.
It is important to be careful and safe when you are trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.