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 Manzano mt ride

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Join date : 2008-12-21
Location : Sunny New Mexico

PostSubject: Manzano mt ride   Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:30 am

I took a ride on New Year's eve day to the Manzano Mts in Central New Mexico. Its one I do often because it is only 20+ miles from home and almost all on back (primitive roads ) with no traffic and lots of open space. It was in the low 50's so light gloves and a jacket were enough protection.

Just 2 miles from home I hit this clay and or sand road that looks better than it is - a few sand traps (dry periods) and mud holes (if it has rained).

A bit further on the substrate become hard pack gravel.

After 15 miles I'm in the foothills (having climbed from 5000 to 6000 ft where the junipers start in the arroyos.

Its Pinyon and Ponderosa further up, but down in the junipers and oaks you have to worry about yucca and Opuntia spines.
There are a myriad of small canyons to explore, but you have to walk in the steepest part because its wilderness.

There are literally hundreds of miles of roads graded in the 1950s that have received no attention and little traffic in the last 50 years. There are enough washouts, rocky arroyos, and large stones to keep you awake.

Its cleansing to be in so much open space looking over the Rio Grande Valley with
so few people, houses, or marks of civilization.

Here is the view looking west over the Rio Grande Valley. My home is 10 miles from the triangular mountain in the distance and about 25 from here. Its downhill most of the way home.
I apologize for the disorganized presentation. I was fighting with IE and Mozilla
and working out the bugs of posting photos.

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PostSubject: Re: Manzano mt ride   Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:55 am

Enjoyed your adventure Tom, Thanks. You indicate that many of the dirt 'roads' had originated back in the 1950's. Why so much road building out in the middle of "no where" back then?

Be safe my Friend......
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PostSubject: road, roads and more   Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:26 am

Gizmo, There was huge land development scheme in the 50's where they got hold of an old land grant (100s of thousands of acres) and bulldozed some roads to demarcate lots and tracts to sell to folks from NY, CA, and anywhere in between. Free flight to Albuquerque, tour of property, invest for the future land boom, but not much of it ever boomed and the roads still exist in untended state. A few houses have been built but basically its wide open spaces for an area about 20 miles by 20 miles, bordering a mountain range with maximal elevation just past 10000 ft. Below is a satelite image that should show some of the roads but there are even more trails that do not show. I bought 25 acres bordering on the USFS wilderness in 1980s for $1000 an acre from somebody who probably paid 4 x that much acouple of decades earlier. I thought about building a house there but eventually found one already built a bit closer to civilization, so use my land as my private (undeveloped) retreat.

If you are still curious try entering the following lat/long in Google Earth and zoom around.

34.60096 n; 106.49772 w

Below is the area from which the pictures were taken.

I (jokingly) tried to get Cyclepath to come buy last summer when he was engaged in a NM/AZ land search, but he didn't get down this way due to schedule problems (and a desire for trees).
I know we must look barren to someone used to green, but NM has its appeal and a feeling of space that is great for those of us who get to live here. tom
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