Cruces Basin, Virtual Trail and the Pecos, too!

By Patty Wilber

For Father’s Day we joined old friends and new friends for a camping trip at the trailhead in the Cruces Basin Wilderness Area that we use as a starting point for our packed-in elk hunting trips (the craziest being Camp Wilberry).  Road 572, not maintained for passenger cars.  So we hauled in our horse trailers, because, you know, why not? (And we have been there before, a few times.)

At the trailhead where we camped. Mary Ann, Bill, Patty, me (also Patty!) and Lani dog.

The new trailer went and the truck brakes and the trailer brakes speak different languages, as far as I can tell, so while we just had our truck brakes redone, we put a little wear on them on this trip and later in the week hauling down from the Santa Fe Ski Basin after a Back Country Horseman project.   I am hiring a translator to help them out.  Just saying.

The Cruces Basin is one of my favorite places as it is so beautiful and over the six or so years we have been going there, it also is a place of wonderful memories and friendship. This trip was no exception.

Jim and I won both our horseshoes games. This is only funny if you were there, but I actually played decently, and contributed to our wins.

We rode up Diablo Creek, Cruces Creek, down Beaver Creek (and Jim hiked up) and rode up on Toltec Mesa.

Me and Penny, up Cruces Creek to near the end. Photo by Patty S.

Down Beaver Creek–WOW! the canyon is WAY more impressive than this picture shows. Way more!

Coming down off canyon rim to the the confluence of Beaver, Diablo and Cruces Creeks. Patty S. in the middle. Jim ponying Cometa in front of her.

While we were at the Basin, I figured I might as well video for the Virtual Competitive Trail show my friend Christy is putting on.   (FB link, web link). I am aiming to win the “best scenery” category (which does not exist, but hey, maybe it will be added). I tried to get Patty S. and Mary Ann to join in.  No luck.

For this show, you pick from a list of challenges, film, and submit.  Short!  Not a gob of redos! Especially for water crossing, because the rules stipulate that the horse must be dry to start with!

I have been putting Lucy and H in all the ranch horse shows, so I thought I would put LT, all by herself, in this one.  Also, LT is going to be gone for the school year to compete on the CSU Ranch Horse Team with Jordyn.  Assuming they have school and all.

We got eight videos (we needed six).  This one was the prettiest!  

This one was the most fun to film.

The videos are due by the end of July, so we will not know how we placed for a while.  But that means there is plenty of time for additional entries (see links above if you are interested!).

We got home on Monday and on Thursday I tortured the truck brakes again by doing a Back Country Horseman project.  We hauled in supplies for a trail project by Volunteers for the Outdoors.

Mary Ann, L; Amber (six feet away) and Peter. And yes we wore masks. Masks do not protect the wearer much. They keep the wearer’s spittle and germ load from going all over everyone else, thus protecting others (see link to experiment below). We are considerate like that. Except when we faint from lack of oxygen at 10,000 feet. Then we stay 6 feet away.

The pack in project was very nice.  I had never ridden in the Peco Wilderness out of the Ski Basin.  The trail was busy with hikers, some of which apparently had never seen horses or mules.  We got our pictures taken about ten times, heard appreciative gasps, were told we were the experience of a lifetime (really) and more.  It was kind of cool to be reminded how lucky I am to have these opportunities!

Lucy packed for me and I rode Penny.  We took Windsor trail in a few miles to a beautiful meadow where we unloaded and ate lunch.  Then we rode back.

There were a number of water crossings on the trail, and at the first one, there was a bridge, which we went over.  Lucy thought the bridge sound was a little scary and as she scooted over, she bumped Penny, who made the bitch lead mare face (and got in trouble as her job at hand was lead pony horse not lead herd boss.)

Lucy, resting at the drop spot off Windsor Trail. This life does not suck.

As we got back, I figured we would skip the bridge and go though the water, since Lucy did not seem to love the bridge.  Lucy does not love water, either, but she had crossed everything so far without much fuss.  At this last one, she balked big time, and I lost her lead rope.  Once she was free, she marched across the bridge on her own while Penny and I watched.  I mean, why get your feet wet if there is a bridge?

Great horse week! 





About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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6 Responses to Cruces Basin, Virtual Trail and the Pecos, too!

  1. Maresa says:

    Great read.

  2. Lisa Westfall says:

    Incredible photos and fun adventures. Hope your videos win.
    I’m not sure, but I do think that experiment is flawed. As you already know, bacteria and germs can easily be contained within a mask because they’re much larger than a virus.
    The smallest bacteria are about 0.4 micron (one millionth of a meter) , while viruses range in size from 0.02 to 0.25 micron, and viruses are submicroscopic, and can’t even be seen in an ordinary light microscope. So a face mask does a poor job at containing a virus. But they do a great job at containing germs and bacteria, as the experiment demonstrates.

  3. Patty says:

    Data says masks work. Viruses are not all by themselves coming out of the mouth. They are in spit globs. Spit globs are stopped by masks. Is everything stopped by masks? No. But even incremental gain is worth it.

  4. Lisa Westfall says:

    Perhaps. But from the looks of those nasty petri dishes, we should probably be most alarmed at keeping such a thick layer of built up bacteria, germs, warmth and moisture next to our mouth and nose, blocking the availability of fresh oxygen to breathe. That can’t be healthy for us, can it?

    • Patty says:

      Interesting to think about.  Don’t think this is a problem for me–NM is dry and my masks have not gotten moist.  If so, I would change to a new one.  Oxygen is smaller than the virus by a long shot, so oxygen can come in. CO2 can come out, so masks seem fine and evidence supports that they work. 

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