this and that, stuck in the parks,
manzano state park and anchor dates

When there are no trees around, this is still a favorite spot for M&M.

I noticed more tent campers this past winter and spring than in previous years. A number of the campers were in their 50s and 60s. And not down-on-their-luck people; their choice. Just something that surprised me.

You might want to go to the Northwood Manufacturing site ( > Nash trailers > brochure > last page. There’s a pretty cool picture (in my most humble opinion).

One day there was a fire at the top of Dog Canyon. As I was hiking up the trail the next morning, I was thinking that breathing the smoke is more than likely totally negating any health benefit I might be getting from the hike. But hiking can become addictive. The second morning, however, I was greeted with this sign. Guano

So I hiked up the creek bed again. Not my favorite hike. It’s more like a boulder field than a creek bed and from time to time one needs to use both hands for climbing.

I went into a bike shop to get two new tires, tubes, and slime for my 29 incher, $115! (except for the slime, not items one can pick up in Walmart). The shop carried Treks. Sure would like to have a new Trek X-Caliber two-niner. But there is nothing wrong with my present Trek and I most assuredly do not need three bikes. But it sure would be nice to have. That’s how I ended up with my present Trek; there was nothing wrong with my Gary Fisher (which I still have) but I just wanted a 29 incher. Not exactly the proper mindset for ‘simple living.’

It took me FOREVER to get out of the parks this year. So much for spending LESS time in them, as I had planned (felt like I was in a rut). BUT, I don’t regret it since I met more new people this winter than in any other. When I say new people, I’m referring to people who I find interesting; ones I would want to spend some time with. Not just people I stop and talk with from time to time as I’m out being sociable. As I’ve stated, the social fix is a key reason for me to spend time in the parks. I also moved between the parks more than I had in previous winters and even just doing that seemed to make it all more enjoyable. I had never stayed at Oliver Lee for more than, I think, three days. This year I was there three times for a total of three weeks. I love the Dog Canyon hike and did it most mornings. I had my normal three two-week stays at City of Rocks since I can be so active there. And except for ongoing crap from one emotionally disturbed, spiteful, psychotic loser of a volunteer, it was as enjoyable as in past years. Spent time with past acquaintances and met Susan there. I did three one-week stays in the Burros for the hiking, and plan to spend more time disperse camping there next winter (cold though). All in all, a pretty good winter. I spent more time in the parks and had my best winter to date. Go figure. I think keeping more active was a big factor; I mean WAY more active. The increased level of activity, moving between the parks more, and the people made for an absolutely stellar winter.
I met a truck camper, John, as I was meandering north but did not get a chance to go hiking with him. He will be checking out the Taos area and if he finds some good places to disperse camp, I might head over.

I stopped at Manzano Mtn. state park as I headed north since I have not been there. Water but no showers and only one pooter per gender (for a STATE park!? [well, women’s might have two]). Luckily I got the only site that would work for us. M&M loved the pinion and juniper for climbing. They, unlike me, are not fans of Ponderosa. Victoria, and her little one-eye dog Henry and Jim (CO) were there. There are a couple miles of park trails (no mtn bikin’). An enjoyable walk is to start walking down the road as if to leave the park. On the left you’ll see one end of the outer loop trail. Start there, walk the length of it (45 minutes), and it will put you near the office. Continue onto the Nature Trail loop and that will give you another 20 minutes. Nice scenery.

A gate to the Cibola National Forest is at the end of the Wildfire trail. From the gate, one can take a compass bearing of 263° and hit the Ox Canyon trailhead which goes up to the Crest Trail. It’s a one-hour hike from the gate to TH (no trail). The bearing lines up with the peak you will see in the distance. You’ll need a compass since a good deal of the time the peak will not be visible through the trees. I used to compete in orienteering and like to practice those skills when I’m out and about. If you try this, you might want to mark the gate on your GPS. I did, just in case, but never used it.
I took a bearing of 83° on the way back, and after 70 minutes of hiking (tired) nailed the fence only 75 yards from the gate. There is quite a bit of recent cutting, deadfall, a few small hills, a drainage, and whatnot but a pretty good hike. If you take the challenge of only using a compass, keep aware of your walking to the left and right of the bearing as you hike around all that will be in your way, and be sure they balance out. Holding a straight line is not possible.
There is a forest road that parallels the border fence. Go left once through the gate and the road ends at an archeological site (not all that far of a walk).
The Alpine Alley coffee shop in Mountainair is worth a stop (one block up on the right, as you turn north on rt55 at the overhead blinking light). Their wi-fi is only set up for the Explorer browser, however (guano). The library’s wi-fi is good for all browsers. Propane fill-up is behind the hardware store, across from the laundromat.
I probably won’t be back to the state park but I did come across a couple of spots for disperse camping up a forest road that I’ll use if I’m ever in the area again.

I wanted to stop at REI when I passed through Santa Fe and since it’s all metered parking in that area (which is tough when pulling a trailer), I planned to stay up at Hyde Memorial state park. Good grief, no could do. The sites back right up against the road up the mountain. So I parked long enough to read my map to see how the get onto Guadalupe and back to rt84. Siscily later told me of another campground I should have checked out. Oh well, what’s one more mistake?

I went up to Heron and the morning after I got there, snow was on the ground. Guano. Went for a hike along the trail and watched osprey bringing fish back to their nests. Way cool. I stopped to see Bev and Jim, who I met down in CoRs a couple years ago. They are the hosts at Island View this summer. They told me Jim (CO) was over in the Salmon Run cg so I walked over to say hi. A nice couple hours out in nature before breakfast.
Siscily stopped over for dinner one evening and she suggested an area up in Colorado to check out. She also shared a funny story. Other cats were coming in Buddy’s cat door so Siscily installed a magnetic cat door. Buddy wears a strong magnet on his collar to get the cat door to open. One day Siscily was in a hurry, put down a can of tuna for Buddy, and went off to take care of something. When she got back, there’s Buddy standing there with the can of tuna stuck to his magnet. (^o^)

At some point, I’m sure they will be taking down the Heron Lake signs and putting up new ones for Heron Grasslands state park. I’m so thankful that I saw Heron when it was a beautiful lake. The high-wind warning lights used to be on a tiny island out in the lake. They now sit on top of a good size hill. Sure hope at some point the lake will fill back up.
One morning I walked up the lakebed. After a while I climbed up to a little bit above where the water level used to be. This shot is looking down at the New Mexico Sailing Club marina. And many still think we’re not messin’ with the environment.

May Olio—anchor dates

On a Car Talk program, one of the brothers mentioned a date while talking about something.
The other brother said something like, That would be a Wednesday.
How would you know that?
Anchor dates.
One can quickly determine the day of the week for any date of the year by memorizing a few ‘anchor dates,’ all of which fall on the same day of the week for that year.
The magic numbers are:
4/4 (April 4), 6/6, 8/8, 10/10 and 12/12 (even numbers)
5/9 and 9/5, 7/11 and 11/7 (two flip-flops and odd #s)
Jan. 3 (except in a Leap Year, when it is Jan. 4)
And the last day of February (regardless of whether it is a Leap Year or not).
Note that this year, 2014, all of the above anchor dates will fall on Friday.
For March, figure out the day of the week from February’s anchor date.

There you go, just do a little addition and subtraction in your head. I’m not into this since I carry a small At-A-Glance day planner in a cargo pocket. But I can see using this skill at a get-together, especially if no one is familiar with anchor dates. Maybe make up a little story about voices in your head. Try for some chuckles. (^_^)

I know, I know—not one of my better pages. Hope to do better next month; bear with me.

April sixty minutes sixty years— 2165 minutes
April Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2845; core: 2290; legs: 7140

Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


Tom said…
Thanks for another post. Was just thinking "Ugh, now gotta wait another month for a new post. :( " LOL... ;) Cool that your pic got published on the Nash brochure. :) Take care and enjoy, Tom
Unknown said…
Sorry I missed the hike at Santa Rosa but I had to get to town to drop my tax forms in the mail(April 14). No good dispersed sites near Taos and was very cold, I went too far north too early. I am in SW Colorado near Montrose now, the weather is perfect and lots of
BLM land. Hope we cross paths again somewhere down the road.

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