After an unusually wet week of weather, the skies finally cleared today. We took the opportunity to head for a hiking spot that we knew would take us over one of those rough roads perfectly suited for letting the RAV4 show off its capabilities. It didn’t disappoint us.
Even in the best of conditions, we never took the Corolla on the road into San Lorenzo Canyon. The first time we went there 8 years ago, we were with our friend, Sue, who had a car capable of handling the road. The only other time we were there was on a field trip sponsored by Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. We carpooled from the refuge and didn’t have to drive our vehicle into the canyon.
The last 2 or 3 miles of the road into the canyon requires driving in the stream bed that is the outflow from the canyon. That outflow can be quite significant, as evidenced by the sand and gravel that has built up over the years. The challenge in the dry season is to not get stuck in the sand, whereas on a day like today, after a week of rain, our challenge was driving over ruts and through a sea of mud. Fortunately, there is a solid base of gravel under the mud, but, nevertheless it isn’t a road suitable for a sedan.
We had decided to do the same hike today that we had done 8 years ago. At that time we relied on Sue and her GPS device to lead the way. The hike is an off trail hike in BLM land that would be very difficult to follow without a GPS track. An app on my phone gives us the capability to download and follow a GPS track. With just a couple of small mistakes we were able to keep on track. We didn’t drive as far into the canyon today as we had the time before and that increased the hiking distance. The hike was close to 6 miles total, just right for enjoying another gorgeous fall day in New Mexico.
After hiking in the canyon for about a mile we climbed up the side of the canyon to find an old dirt road. For several miles we looped through the arroyos and over the ridges to some good views of the surrounding mountains.