May 222020

By Patty Wilber

Last Friday, I went to Oak Flats with Linda and her ex-racehorse, Star.

Linda and I had a fine time galloping around.  LT is the best for that–ready to go but super easy to slow down, as well.  She is 10 now and is aging well!! Star, being an ex-racehorse, also enjoys getting a move on!

The trails there are well marked and Linda has a nice map.  I have a really old map, which I did not bring, but next time I will to compare the old map to the new one.  I also might buy one of the new ones The Trails of Cedro Peak & Otero Canyon ($7 maybe) at the Sandia Ranger Station, in Tijeras.

Oak Flats is being thinned with a masticator to reduce fire danger and allow increased habitat diversity.  We saw the very large and noisy masticator.  We could not get close enough, safely, to see the actual operation, but we saw the aftermath! The horses were unfazed, which was nice. 


LT inspecting the work of the masticator. I took a video of the sound–I took a video to capture the sound–but decided the commercial video was way more exciting! 

I think I would like being a masticator operator!  I love weed whacking and mowing and chain sawing, so this is like combining all three of those into one giant machine.  There are smaller ones….Tractor attachment!  LOL. 

 The video below shows a different type of masticator than the one being in the Oak Flats area, but same idea!

Next week:  The Masked Trail Crew!

  6 Responses to “Oak Flats Masticator Ride”

  1. What an amazingly efficient way to thin against fire!

    Of course I think this is what started the 4th of July fire several years ago…I hope they learned something from that incident! Eek!

  2. The masticator sure is fascinating to watch. I have that same Manzanita Mountains Trail System Map, but it hasn’t been updated yet to purchase. The map doesn’t show several brand new trails built just over the past 3 years… well as some reroutes.

    • The version Linda had did have additional trails on it compared the link I found on line.

  3. During WW2 my father had a layover on Guam during which he was handed the keys to a Bulldozer and told to knock down jungle for a landing strip. H said it was a lot of fun, The most he’d had for a couple of years. Until he got back to the BOQ to find no water for a shower.Seems that there was a water pipe running through said jungle …
    They took his keys away.

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