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  1. #1
    Senior Member trailryder42's Avatar
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    Crest Trail, Ruidoso NM

    Last week, Taozenqi contacted me to see if I would be interested in a hike around the
    Ruidoso, New Mexico area. I gather several were asked and some committed, but as of the night
    before the hike, it looked like it was going to be just the two of us. Jim had planned on hiking
    the 22 mile long Crest Trail from Nogal Peak TH to Monjeau Peak TH in the White Mountain
    Wilderness, spending two nights out on the trail and finishing up early on the 3rd day. Jim had
    previously done day hikes of the trail from either end but had never done the center section or thru
    hiked it. So the plan was to hike 9 miles or so the first day, 7 or so miles on day 2, then finish
    up early on day 3.

    After getting dropped at the Nogal TH we set off and were quickly rewarded with great views as
    the trail sidehilled around Nogal Peak. The trail became quite overgrown with brush in places and
    almost all sidehilling was overgrown with tall grass. Sure made things interesting.





















    Jim had stashed water at 3 different places on his previous day hikes because the 3 known-to-him
    springs along the trail are unreliable. We each started out with 3 litres. In about 3 miles we
    came to the first, Turkey Spring.





    We're getting up high now and having some really good sidehill views of the valley below. Jim points
    out White Sands Missle Range to me. A few miles later we came to Argentina Spring.









    Then about 1.5 hours further down the trail, our dogs are barkin', so we take a break under a tree to
    tend to them. Somewhere along in here we retrieve one of the water stashes Jim had set out.









    I remember Jim asking me if I saw that big pile of bear scat in the trail. I'm guessing this is
    what he was talking about.





    Around 4 pm or so we leave the trail, hike up into some trees to make camp. This is Jims first outting
    with his new ZPacks Cuben tarp. After getting the hammocks up, we make us some supper and
    put on some extra layers as the sun fades.







    I spend the next little while getting pictures of the sunset, then I walk over to Jims camp to see
    what he's up to. He's got a tube of Superglue out. THIS can't good. The soles and uppers have
    separated from both boots. After some liberal Supergluing and duct tape he's satisfied they're
    good to go. "They're only 17 years old" he says.













    The next morning, we've had breakfast, broke camp and ready to head out by 7:45. Back on the trail
    and the morning light is creating some great scenery. The trail alternates between grassy hillside
    to rugged and wild thru-the-trees type stuff. The 7 miles to Ice Spring we are to hike today is
    a lot of uphill.















    About 10:30am we come upon a spring Jim didn't know about, as we were in the section he'd not been
    on before. Turns out to be the best water source so far and was right on the Crest Trail,
    approx. 200 yards to the northwest of where it intersects with South Fork and Bluefront Trails. It was
    a poly tube sticking out of the ground with a healthy trickle coming out of it.







    We drink our fill, refill the bottles and Jim takes some time to mend his boots a little more.





    It's only about 1pm when we reach Ice Spring so we continue on.













    Looking back the way we came just then.







    Thanks for this picture Jim. I'm going to have it framed. Look at the depth of field in this next picture. Don't
    know if you actually knew what you were doing or if it was a fluke. lol











    About 2pm the clouds are rolling in and it's turning drizzley. We stop to eat some lunch and
    don our rain gear. We've come our planned 7 miles for the day and discuss whether to look for a place
    to camp or to just hike the remaining 5 miles or so out. We've done all the hard climbing
    all ready. The last 5 miles look to be easy downhill except for the last 1/4 mile uphill to the
    parking area where Jims Wife had shuttled his car for us.









    We decide to hike out(actually, he left it up to me). The wind had picked up, rain wasn't too bad, but
    the next few miles were a lot of exposed, grassy sidehill between stands of trees. So with lightening
    flashing around us every now and then, we didn't want to dilly dally around.

















    I enjoyed hiking in the rain. It was refreshing. It had pretty much quit by the time we reached the last
    1/4 mile uphill to the parking lot, so we doffed our rain gear and dumped any excess water we had to
    relieve some weight. We were soon spying Jims car, there in the lot.







    It was good to get our boots off and into some sandles. Todays 12 mile hike was certainly the most
    challenging I've done to date. Thanks for the invite Jim. I enjoyed it.
    Last edited by trailryder42; 09-04-2011 at 12:29.

  2. #2
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Great trip report and beautiful photos! Some times plans fall through and you end up with a lot less people than planned. Glad it didn't stop you two from having a great time. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Fronkey

  3. #3
    Senior Member emcee's Avatar
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    Beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Taozenqi's Avatar
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    Crest Trail in NM Rockies

    AKA, 2 Amigos take 2 Cubens on a tour of the NM Rockies!
    Nice write-up TR42. Just a few comments. First, the scat you showed was the recent remnants of an elk near your hammock, not from the bear scat witnessed further down the trail. (We've got to get you a scat app for that iphone!). Second, what do you mean calling my pic skills an accident? Don't you recall me asking you to look up for once while hiking that trail? OK, I confess... that amount of detail was definitely an accident. Third, that second morning started with at least 4.5 miles of uphill and I was starting to wonder if I would make the planned 7 miles, let alone the 12.5 miles we actually completed that day. Fourth, I let you decide whether to continue or not because you kept insistently mumbling, "need wheat beer, neeeeed wheat beer..." at an audible tone behind me as we walked in the rain. It made me more nervous than the lightning!
    Truth be known though TR42 is a great hiking partner. Easy conversation, consistent pace, and extraordinarily knowledgeable on all technical toys. Really appreciate you joining me with such short notice, (unlike the ol' curmudgeon!), otherwise I would have been on my own for this great wilderness hike in which we saw no other hikers.
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    P1000348 (600x800).jpg

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    Do you imagine the universe is agitated?
    Go into the desert at night and look out at the stars,
    This practice should answer the question... Lao Tzu

  5. #5
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Beautiful pics. Looks like a nice spot. Particularly like what look like Aspen groves.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Really great trip report!
    I like trails that weave through a mixture of open space and trees.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  7. #7
    Member foureyedgeek's Avatar
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    ****, even the trail markers are pretty out there!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
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    Thanks for a great trip report. I loved the shots at sunset with the rain coming down in the distance. Sounds like a great time in the wilds.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ^shane^'s Avatar
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    Great report and pictures. Is there a guidebook for the trails around Ruidoso? I know I'll have to drive up next spring/early summer (before another forest closure) to do that hike.
    "One of the best things you can do in this world is take a nap in the woods." ~ Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

    "While it may be a lot of work, the view is best from the summit." ~ an anonymous staff member of Philmont Scout Ranch

    Enjoy the day
    Shane

  10. #10
    Funny Money's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this!

    The more I see of NM the more I want to see. How beautiful. I, too, like the mixed trail and scenery.

    What were the temp ranges?
    -- Funny Money
    ------------------
    Love 'em while you got 'em

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