A trip of firsts. One of my first “advantures”. My first explorations of New Mexico and first hike along the Continental Divide Trail.
The first stint is a drive from Flagstaff to the Mt Baldy area in White Mountains of Arizona. I arrive as darkness closes in to find the Gabaldon Horse Camp closed. No matter, I easily find a spot to park and camp on nearby FR 409. The White Mountains are a beautiful mountainous expanse. It’s late so I (admittedly) inhale a can of baked beans and crash.
In the morning I have a lazy breakfast involving vegetables and rice. My goal is to hike Mt Baldy, up the east trail, down the west. A short drive to the parking lot. A few other vehicles. Onto the trail. Up I go. Lovely tall and lumpy rock formations along the way. After a few miles, I hit snow. Hmm. The hike will be shorter than anticipated. I walk a short while further, the trail is snow-free again. The trees open up and there are valley views. So sunny and gorgeous. Snow on trail again. There’s still a thousand or more feet to gain and more snow than I want to deal with. Down I descend. A handful of other hikers. Maybe I’ll return some snow-free day.
Back to my van. Exploration on wheels. Find another camp spot on FR 409. This one has nice hammock trees. Time to read and laze about, make an epic chicken dinner salad, and chill.
The next morning I go for a short stroll along the forest road before descending into the lowlands once again, bound for Silver City and the Gila River…