Oct 022020

By Patty Wilber

On Wednesday, we went back to retrieve empty water containers and some gear for the trail crew that was working on Pine Shadow Trail at the southern end of the Manzano Mountain.

We drove in on 131 from Manzano, and if you check the map, you can see the road has a big switchback.  That area  is one lane+ and has some wash boarding  on which I was happier in 4WD, but it was not necessary.

The trail head has ample parking for horse trailers and four large horse pens–two are missing gates and the gated two have large chollas in them, but other than that they are servicable.

There is a good size stock tank that is dry, so bring water. There are shaded picnic tables and an outhouse.

The trail crew re-established the trail up to the Crest Trail, they said.  We only rode it to their camp, which was within the Wilderness boundary but not too far in, so I cannot tell you the trail conditions after that point.  I can tell you that it was essentially impassable to stock prior to their work.

Penny and Cometa, “here we go again!”

On the way in. Me on Penny, Cometa packing. Photo by Terri Gore!

It is uphill, a bit! Amber and her mules!

View from the trail crew camp. And the views get better as you continue up the trail!

Fuzzy, but William the mule looked so cute. If you are not a walking on the edge of the mountain person, this is not the trail for you. If you are, it is really quite fine.

Coming down. Amber and her crew.

There are amazing junipers on this trail (and also in Red Canyon and Spruce Trails.) I took this as I rode by, so….

The southern aspect of this trail makes it a hotter and drier micro climate than Red Canyon.  More oaks, prickly pear, cholla and juniper.

The alligator junipers are really large and beautiful.  In my next lifetime, I want to do portraits of these trees.  They look like they hold many secrets in their gnarled limbs.  They have dead twisted snags and tough, living parts and I am always struck by something about them.  Their resilience?

Not sure.  And my poetic side is not helping me find the right words, either.

Sorry for the late post and as a consequence, lack of editing may be quite apparent, so please forgive that as well.

Happy Friday!

  3 Responses to “Pine Shadow”

  1. The thought of horses in a corral with a large cholla gives me the shivers. But maybe NM horses know not to get near it?

    Beautiful country, fascinating juniper in that pic, and as always love pictures of horses doing things.

  2. The pens are big, but I think I would do a little cholla chopping… Hunting this weekend, so I think there will be no blog–or maybe just a rerun…Not like I don’t have about 300 to choose from….

  3. On October 22nd, we rode the trail in for about 5 miles. The trail crew did an amazing job cutting out the prickly pear and throwing it off to the side. As you get closer to the top, the slide area has a lot of loose and slippery rock and it is not much more than a game trail. Wish we could have gone further but it got too windy and cold. Have to save the rest for another day.
    Great views.
    Thanks for the hard work.

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