Manzanitas Trail Zero

  • NNML 2019 Day 19, June 28, Friday
  • Start near Taos Ski Valley, mile 285 (sec5mile13)
  • End near Taos Ski Valley, mile 285 (sec5mile13)
  • Miles walked: 0

Gary, the cook for this project, is up early preparing breakfast. I had not been on one of Gary’s projects before, but he has much experience cooking for CDT and NMVFO projects, and he has also adopted a section of CDT trail, which I also plan to do this year.He has a custom chuck-wagon rig and all his own kitchen equipment.The trail we are working on today is Manzanitas, which goes between Hondo Canyon and the ridge, parallel to Gavilan and other trails in this system. We do lopping, sawing downed trees, fixing drainage to the creek we are hiking along, and repairing tread.A team of two bring a long crosscut saw up near the ridge and work down, while the rest of us use smaller saws to clear what trees we can manage.After a full day, Gary presents lasagna and peach cobbler from dutch ovens.It has been a challenging day of physical effort, rewarding to fix trail and spend time with old friends and new. I can only spare this one day working on trail, but the rest of the group will be here several days. Courtney, Dave, Todd, Lynn, Mark, Jenny, Charlie R, Gary, and Ed are awesome volunteers and made my day here a happy one.

Rendezvous Taos Ski Valley

  • NNML 2019 Day 18, June 27, Thursday
  • Start Questa mile 272 (sec5mile0)
  • End neareTaos Ski Valley, mile 285 (sec5mile13)
  • Miles walked: 13

After walking for a few miles along the highway east out of Questa, Columbine Campground appears. Columbine Creek Trail heads south and up along the creek, with no wet foot crossings necessary, climbing to 11k elevation.Reaching the ridge, mountains and ski trails offer views.Gavilan Trail down the mountain is steep with loose rocks. Emerging at the edge of Taos Ski Valley village, I walk along the highway for two miles west, where members of the NMVFO (New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors) are arriving at a campsite, to work on nearby trails for several days.What serendipity that the group’s schedule matches mine, and that their camp is so close to my route! Some members are surprised to see me, knowing that I am out hiking. I camp here tonight, and will pause my journey for a day to help with trail work.