Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Leisurely Mountain Trip

About a week before the trip, I was invited by Mrs. Maynard (the owner of a dog whom I walk regularly) to join her and her son in the NM mountains for the weekend. I accepted the invitation and, on friday, my dog tipper and I found ourselves driving to the hills for a relaxing weekend.

Once I arrived and had been given tour of the grounds, I picked up a fly-fishing rod and attempted to learn how to fish. The fish were less than threatened. Still, the weather was beautiful and we had a great time. After enjoying a nice dinner with Mrs. Maynard and Mr. Tom, we went to bed and set the alarm for 5am.

In the morn, the alarm sound and I rolled out of bed grabbing my small rucksack as I slumbered the door. Tipper and I drove to the trailhead of Jicarita peak and were quickly on our way by about 6. With 7 miles to gain the summit, we briskly hiked up the gentle trail until we reached Serpent Lake.

We took a few minutes to walk around the lake and enjoy the good views. We then proceeded to climb a few switchbacks to the ridge line where we were met by dozens of marmots all around and with incredible views of the high peaks of northern New Mexico. We continued hiking up the ridge. We stubbled upon a big horn sheep. He starred at us for a bit before he saw my camera at which point he sauntered over to a very scenic position just below Jicarita. He abruptly stopped and posed for a few pictures. Clearly this was not his first rodeo.

Tipper and I trekked past the sheep and ascended the last bit to the summit at about 9:15.

Dark clouds were building in the distance and we decided to begin down toward the treelike. On the way, we met a group of old guys who had camped at Serpent Lake the night before. They kindly took our picture. Tipper and I found a spot just above Serpent Lake where we decided to chill out for a bit. As part of my daily reading, I read Proverbs 30. It was quite fitting to read verse 26 which says, "The shephanim (marmots) are not a mighty people, yet they make their houses in the rocks" as there were marmots all around, squeaking as the scrambled about the rocks.

After a bout 30min or so we started down the trail. Running at times, we were moving very quickly and reached the car at about 12. At just over 6h car to car for a 14m trek, we felt quite proud of our small ascent.

We drove to Sipapu and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee on the swing overlooking the snowless ski slope. Mr. Tom joined me and we talked for about an hour or so. We drove back to the cabin for dinner and enjoyed another quiet evening watching the humming birds.

The next morning, Mr. Tom invited me to hike to the top of a formation called "The Knob." We  ascended through beautiful meadows and babbling brooks until we reached the summit which held spectacular views of the surrounding region.

After we returned to the cabin, I tried my hand at fishing again and had little success, only catching some rocks and a few bushes. After that I made a quick trip to Sipapu to ride my bike down a section of the ski slope. After that we all went and ate a great dinner at "Sugar Nymphs" restaurant in PeƱasco. On our way back, they dropped me off at Sipapu and I played a quick round of disc golf. I did poorly, but still had a great time enjoying the mountain.

Once I got back to the cabin, we sat around and talked for a bit before exchanging goodbyes and slumbering off to bed. The next morning, I awoke at an early hour and departed very thankful that I had been able to enjoy such a wonderful weekend in the hills.

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I love life and aspire to be all I can be in everything that I do.