How to relive some of the excitement of my initial visits to the Cat Walk, which is now hopelessly tamed by a series of overbuilt industrial-grade steel skyways? One way is to approach it from above, via the Gold Dust Trail.
The West Fork Gila just might be the perfect fall hike. A cold start is the price you pay for maximum color, but it's totally worth it.
In 1986, I took a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, and fell in love with the Southwest. For my 70th birthday, my gift was to myself was to take that ride again.
After an extraordinarily hot, dry Summer, we got a week of intermittent rain courtesy of tropical storms pounding the Gulf of Mexico. We decided it might be a good time to check out a possible alternate access to Noonday Canyon.
After a most welcome bout of cool, rainy weather, the heat has returned. We had to cancel our trip to Chaco Canyon, but we promised ourselves some local adventures as compensation. At the top of the list was Sheep Corral Canyon. This is one of the few roads that provides access to a remote section of the Continental Divide Trail.
Fortunately, in late August, our thirsty forest was blessed with backwash from a series of tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico. With the rain came some relief from record high temperatures. Our hiking group had been waiting for the weather to cool off enough to splash in the Middle Fork of the Gila River.
The Forest Service is throwing everything they have at the fires, but there are too many! What will happen if the crazy heat continues? Or if it gets worse? I've been hiking, backpacking and camping in the Gila Wilderness for 25 years. Will there be anything left of it when this awful Summer is over?
This year's monsoon is dangerously late, and temperatures are averaging 10 degrees above normal. But we were heading north, and the monsoon was on its way. How bad could it be?
The very hot weather has arrived, but the Gila Hikers kept their cool in a high wet canyon.
We are just emerging from the bubble that was Fiesta Latina 2023. What a lovely four-day event, filled with art, music, dance and thoughtful discussion! We were dazzled by the extraordinary talent it brought to our town.
Since 2007, we've been celebrating Field Day with our ham radio buddies at remote, high-elevation locations in Arizona and New Mexico. This year we had planned to return to a prime spot in the Gila National Forest, but when temperatures suddenly soared into the high 90s, we redirected to one of our favorite camping areas in the White Mountains of Arizona.
We rarely camp more than one or two nights at any one location. But we stayed five days at Snow Lake, and it was barely enough time.
Though it gets far less press than the Gila, the Rio Grande or the San Juan, the Pecos is one of New Mexico's most important rivers. The purpose of this trip was to follow the Pecos north from Bottomless Lakes to Villanueva, enjoying our New Mexico State Parks pass along the way.
An absolutely perfect day at Mineral Creek! Despite all the rain this week, the water was just high enough to be be exciting (but not dangerous). Nice mixture of sun and big puffy clouds all day, and the downpour waited until five minutes after we got back to our cars!
Our original destination did not pan out, but the fallback was an excellent choice. Since we last hiked Little Dry Creek, the trail has been greatly improved, and this Spring's abundant snowmelt created a wealth of water features!
We've visited this area many times, but this trip with Silver City friends Rebecca and Dale gave us more time to explore some of the lesser-known wonders of these two adjacent national monuments.
Sometimes all you need is the dappled light of a piñon juniper forest, the crunch of yellow grass underfoot, and that bluest of blue skies.
After an extraordinarily cold and snowy Winter, Spring has finally sprung. On a clear and sunny Saturday, we set out to explore Skates Canyon in the Gila Wilderness.
And just like that, southern New Mexico leapt from Winter to Summer! After seeing a friend's photos of fields of poppies, we headed for the Florida Mountains.
When your best friend likes a cozy B & B in Dordogne, and you like a backpacking tent on the Gila River, you meet halfway ... at an RV Park!
What turned out to be a week-long adventure began with a two-night camping trip with friends to City of Rocks, one of our favorite destinations, and now just a short hop from home.
We'd driven by it many times and decided to do a one-night campout/exploration. Very interesting rock formations and see-forever views. We made it easily to the saddle, but got caught in a sudden snow squall. It was a good reminder of how fast conditions can change in the mountains!