The trail sign itself isn’t much to look at, but I shared the photo, anyway, because it captures our beautiful blue New Mexico skies in the background. We can’t complain about winter and colder temperatures when we live in a climate that brings us abundant sunshine almost every day of the year. There is snow in the mountains this time of the year for those who like to ski, but for those of us who like to hike we can find places to go where the trails are open and clear.
On this particular hike, our only weather related issue occurred when we rounded a corner of a switchback on a canyon edge. A howling wind hit us head-on and it felt like we were going to get blown right off the mountain. This point of the trail was where we had turned around the last time that we had been on this hike. Lee had hoped that on today’s hike we could go further up the trail to reach the other side of the canyon where there was a higher viewpoint. But we all agreed that the wind did not make that a pleasant option. Instead, we found a sheltered spot behind some rocks and ate our lunch before coming back down.
One of the criteria we use in deciding where to hike is to compare the time spent in the car getting to the trailhead with the time spent on the trail. A rule of thumb is that time in the car should be less than time on the trail. In this case, it was just about equal, but, as Lee pointed out, we couldn’t let such a beautiful day pass without spending some time outside and the Manzano Mountains were a great place to be. On a Saturday, closer to Albuquerque or Santa Fe we would have encountered other hikers. But out here you really get the sense of being in the wilderness. We were the only hikers who got to enjoy the Pine Shadow Trail yesterday.
To get a sense of the location and terrain, you can use
the interactive map that has the track of our hike.