PART ONE: LOCATION ON A BRANCH OFF BIG CANYON RIDGE
Last Fall I took you on a short walk at the end of the graveled part of Guadalupe Ridge Road. That time we walked to the north. This time we walk east from the end of Forest Road 540 along a branch off Big Canyon Ridge, to peek into and across Big Canyon toward that canyon's southern and eastern wall, Wilderness Ridge.
Beyond Wilderness Ridge lie the high-plains of New Mexico and Texas that stretch as far as the eye can see toward the east.
We walk the dark path shown on the map below. It is a dirt road, in relatively good shape, but we get off it and walk uphill to "Drill Hole" on the map, after that we take off cross-country on a former road now closed to traffic and for foot and horse use only.
We stop where we end on a lobe of Big Canyon Ridge when we are faced with a very steep descent. There we turn back.
We park beside the dirt road just to the left of the above map and walk on the road generally facing west. Our path turns northward at this point to a higher part of the same ridge we are walking on:
Soon we see the road go left around a rise, and decide to leave the road:
The only trail here is made by animals, it meanders and does not have a destination, so we just walk straight up the hill without benefit of trail:
This drilling stand tells me we are approaching the place poetically called Drill Hole:
A pump-jack, wow! Wonder what is being brought up here? Not oil.
It is water! Fire-fighting water:
This explains the water-pipelines we saw beside the road in several places:
And the giant water tank near where we parked:
When we passed this at the start I had wondered about the water source. Now we know.
But let's continue on from Drill Hole by admiring the snow in the shade:
On the next page we will continue this walk from where the road is closed to motorized vehicles. It is a fire line scar left over from fighting a large fire in 1990, but we will use it as a trail:
From here, two ridges are visible to the west, the second and higher one is McKittrick Ridge which we have walked several times before.
Please go to the second page of this ridge walk.
Go to second Guadalupe Ridge Walk in Winter Page
Go to third Guadalupe Ridge Walk in Winter Page
Return to New Mexico Home Page
Return to 2014 Yearbook Page
Return to ThoughtsandPlaces.Org Home Page