Apache Kid Wilderness 2 2021

NMVFO volunteers returned to the Apache Kid Wilderness for a backpack trail project, parking at Springtime Campground and hiking 3 miles to a ridge just above San Mateo Spring on Apache Kid Trail #43. Scouting last week revealed that both San Mateo and Nave Springs had water, not expected in late October, so we were pleased to have a reliable water source.

The first day, after setting up camp on the ridge, we hiked along Apache Kid Trail to Cowboy Trail #44 and all blowdowns up to the lookout and cabin. While scouting this section, I was not able to find the second half of Cowboy, and neither could our full group. (I had also had problems following this trail while hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail a few years ago.)

Saturday we had planned to hike further on Apache Kid Trail, but higher winds induced us to avoid burned areas with standing snags, and instead divert to Shipman Trail. Last week while scouting we had flagged the trail up to Nave Spring, necessary because of disappearing tread. Sometimes the only way we knew we were on trail was to find sections of rebar from old water bars– the logs since rotted away or burned away. We managed to clear blowdowns from about 2 miles along Shipman.

Sunday we worked back towards Springtime Campground, nearly finishing lopping Apache Kid from the junction with Shipman down to the campground.

Our skilled and motivated team experienced fine discussions, good teamwork, high adventure, and marvelous views. Nick, Anna, Julia, Jim N, Paul, and Nigel built a memorable trip.

Apache Kid Wilderness 1 2021

NMVFO volunteers met Friday evening for a car-camping project based at Springtime Campground near the Apache Kid Wilderness in the San Mateo Mountains (not the other San Mateo Mountains in New Mexico), Cibola National Forest near Monticello. We worked Saturday and Sunday on Apache Kid Trail #43 and Shipman Trail #50, clearing deadfalls and lopping, with some tread work.

Christina and Nick excelled as crew cooks.

The trails were often faint and overgrown, with several recent burns, and need a lot of loving care. We made a good start.

Many thanks to Anna and Julia for their first co-leader project, and Nick, Christina, Don, Dave, Jim N, Patrick, Lynne, Sharon, Catlin, and Dominic.

Soda Springs Trail #306 2021

NMVFO hiked 3 miles from Old Buckman Road on 2-track along the Rio Grande to Soda Springs Trail for a 3 day unsupported backpack project in the Santa Fe National Forest. The trail climbs from the river up to Sagebrush Flat, about 800 feet elevation change over 1.6 miles. Our campsite was up from the river a few hundred feet, to avoid the worst of the “lake effect” tent condensation at night.

We filtered water from the Rio Grande, pretty muddy looking, but our group filters worked well.

Continue reading “Soda Springs Trail #306 2021”