Breaking trail

Looking north along Trail 365 from below Piedra Lisa Arroyo, just east of Camino de la Sierra.

Closer to home, just south of Comanche.

Yesterday I took a brisk three-mile hike on the circuit that did for my ankle back in February.

I skipped the part of the loop where the actual injury occurred. Seems like there are more and more people out every day, as the temps inch upwards into the 70s and above, and I didn’t want to brush up against any plague carriers.

But damn, didn’t it feel nice to get off the asphalt and concrete for a change?


32 Responses to “Breaking trail”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Same up this-a-way. With the weather improving and the city advertising the wonders of open space, the trails around here are getting pretty busy. I’ve fled to the roads outside town. The hikers have displaced the skiiers driving up and down on Hyde Park Road but the Tano, Gonzales, and Las Campanas loops are quiet and pleasant.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Some days I long to shriek, “Feck off back to yeer jobs, ye shower o’ bastids, and leave me and me trails be!”

      But that would be rude. And you all know what a gentle soul I am.

  2. JD Dallager Says:

    Trail 365? Must mean it’s good every day of the year? Great to see blue skies, puffy clouds, and “breaking trails” not “breaking wind”!!

    Have the cholla started jumping yet?

    Stay safe and healthy all!! 🙂

    • khal spencer Says:

      Hey, its spring in New Mexico. On a calm day, one is battling Our Lady of Perpetual Headwind.

      Or as the old joke goes: Why is it windy in New Mexico? Because Texas sucks and Arizona blows.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The pointy bits are always out around here. Plants, rocks, animals, everything’s got teefers. Lose yourself in the clouds and something will bite you.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Cholla gives me, especially along a single track trail, “The Fear.” Cholla is to be feared, especially jumping and teddy bear cholla.

  3. asgelle Says:

    More people, and sadly, more people in groups trying to skirt the limits or push them to the breaking point. I was invited to ride with others three times in the last week (all declined).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yup. I go out solo or with Herself. Yesterday I hit the trails at the sweet spot — never met anyone on singletrack. On today’s road ride I happened across a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we chatted across a High Desert median.

      I just want to get out, not all the way out.

      • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

        I just got back from an invigorating rural road ride. About 10 miles out I respectfully passed another cyclist by doing so safely by moving out into the middle of the oncoming lane. I gave a graceful wave as I kept a reasonable 12 foot distance. I kept on and after another 2 miles I entered an area where the pavement is rough for a short distance and I normally move out a little farther into the traffic lane. As I glanced back to make sure no vehicles were coming, I noticed that the cyclist I had passed was latched on to my wheel. I wasn’t too worried about receiving the virus but I was surprised to see that someone else would risk catching the virus by following me so close. I figured that if the other cyclist decided to want to pull through, that I was going to rapidly drift off and give them 2 or 3 minutes to get up the road. But that didn’t happen. I was pleased to see that when the road tilted up, the not so wise cyclist dropped off the pace.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Back a few years ago when my better half and I did a lot more tandem riding we referred to those hanger on folks as klingons, in due respect to Star Trek. Its their problem if one of us launches a snot rocket.

  4. Hurben Says:

    A beautiful day down here down under, however..

    I have given up despairing for the human race because we are totally fucked.

    NZ moved out of level 4 lock down to level 3 which meant that take away drive thrus could be open. Drive thrus at McDonalds & similar were so packed that they caused major traffic jams.

    Pictures of young, dumb, fucking idiots all clutching buckets of KFC & smiling in the media.

    The Apocalypse can not come soon enough.

    • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

      How hard can it be to stay home and cook. Have some fun with the family. Throw some fresh food into a pan, add some spices, a few smiles and a great time can be had. If people are going to go out to eat, they should try to see if the small local restaurants have take out service and to support them. But to line up in fast food lines…., like those in my town also, is a shame.

      “When the spaceship comes down, no one turns around… It’s a one story town…” Words of wisdom Mr. Petty, words of wisdom..

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The fast-food thing boggles what remains of my mind. Here in Albuquerque, where you can get some excellent Mexican food at reasonable prices, fast-food outlets like Taco Hell, Mickey D’s, KFC, and the rest have conga lines of sputtering gas-hogs circling the building.

      Starbucks, too. How hard is it to make a cup of joe? Yet there’s a Starbucks on every corner. Crosswalks, fire hydrants, and common sense are harder to find.

      I cook at least one meal per day, and sometimes three, depending on whether there are leftovers from the previous day. Last night it was a pot of green chile stew. Ten ingredients, two hours, counting prep time. We’ll get two, three days’ worth of eating out of it. A roasted sheet-pan chicken with vegetables is even easier. A salad? Minutes only.

      Oatmeal for breakfast this morning, with dried fruit and nuts. Coffee and tea. It’s not rocket surgery or brain science. I honestly don’t remember the last time we went out to eat. And certainly neither of us has a hankerin’ for a bucket of The Colonel’s extra-crispy.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    We have been getting take out meals from some of our local restaurants to support them. Yesterday was a snap decision to order from La Casita, our best locally owned Mexican restaurant. When we picked up our order, they told us that take out is only requiring 7 workers out of their 50 employees.

    I haven’t eaten in a fast food chain joint since 2017, and that was in desperation in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico when everything else was closed. I couldn’t wait until I got to Albuquerque. That’s before I learned to take my own sandwiches with on road trips. We now picnic in Lordsburg at the rest stop before going on to Albuquerque.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    We cooked virtually everything we ate when we lived in BombTowne because frankly, the place is a food desert. One supermarket (Smiths), one food co-op that was barely hanging on as Smiths tried to kill it, and a couple mediocre restaurants competing with Kentucky Fried Crap and McDogshit. The high point was El Parasol. So it was overwhelmingly three squares at the Meena and Khal Bistro. We even learned to a pretty good job on home made pizza from scratch.

    Here in Fanta Se there are far more options in normal times but right now its pretty spare. Our favorite New Mexican eatery, Valentinas, shuttered completely when the SHTF. Pizzaria de Lina is open for takeout so we get a pie there once a week to support the place. Otherwise, its back to “are we sick of our own food again yet?”

    Not eating meat takes Fast Food Nation off the table for the most part. If there really is a meat shortage about to happen, I wonder what will happen to the 99 cent shitburger, or whatever it costs these days.

  7. B Lester Says:

    Here in WI, we’ve been getting takeout from the locally owned Thai, Mexican, Chinese, pizza etc. on the days when we don’t cook. I’m working from home, 5 weeks now, and Ms Accountant goes in to a mostly deserted building 2-3 times/week, working remotely the rest of the time.

    We are currently craving sushi, but the fish ain’t winging their way in like they used to, so the rice rollers are closed. Those are two really great restaurants in our little town of 65,000. I sure hope those establishments survive.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      They make sushi out of flying fish? Who knew?

      Robin Williams once postulated that sushi was a joke the Japanese were playing on the rest of us. “Look! They’re eating it! Hey … you want some warm wine with that?”

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Throw that sushi in a hot wok with peanut oil, stir fry it, add a little more rice if necessary, and then I will eat it.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Used to occasionally do sushi in Paradise. I was always a little leery of eating raw fish, but Seared Ahi using sashimi grade ahi is to die for (Blackened Island Ahi on Roy’s menu). If you are ever in Hawaii or on the West Coast and near a Roy’s Restaurant, try it. No ka oi.. We lived a stone’s throw from the Hawai’i Kai restaurant and it was a favorite haunt, checkbook willing.

          I guess there are even a couple of Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurants in Arizona. But both in or near Phoenix.

          • B Lester Says:

            Amen, mon ame.

            Years ago in the late Pleistocene, my friend and mentor heard that we were going to a prominent Chicago seafood restaurant. He told me to “get the Ahi, seared”. I thought it was strange until I had a bite.

  8. Herb from Michigan Says:

    The one and only thing I miss from the “outside world” is fast food French fries. My twice a month guilty pleasure. We deep fry about nothing at home. So those fries are like crack. Cook 92% of all we eat and also raise a helluva lot of it in the garden. Buy meat from local farms. So most of the angst we hear about grocery store theater is lost on us. But local brewpubs? Ayeeeee…I fear the worst and my fav won’t even fill growlers since he says it’s not worth firing up the kettles.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Now that is a serious sacrifice! Luckily a good brewpub in Tucson started canning their excellent amber ale. Is it the same as on tap? No way. Is it good, hell yes, and I can buy it locally. Rojo Amber Ale

      • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

        Ummmm… That Nolan’s Porter looks awful tasty. I was headed that direction about the time the virus collapsed down on us. With fortune, in a few months we’ll all be able to enjoy some outdoor socializing at a local brew pub, eatery, pastry shop, etc..

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Well, have you had that fine looking porter or do you avoid the Dark Side? I tried like hell Pat not to follow the link but caved and now, well I’m burping dust and NEED a porter like that or there will be hell to pay around here.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Well Herb, if you are forced to go to the grocery store for your beer, Black Butte Porter is pretty good. One of the owners of our LBS told me his daughter works there. Also, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is okie dokie. We need to set up a Tucson Loop ride this fall with the Mad Dog Groupo and we’ll all go to Barrio for a late lunch? I would go for the Octoberfest Lager to start and the porter for dessert!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It’s been a while since my drinking days, but I recall the Anchor Porter with great fondness.

        The Tucson Loop sounds like a fun project after a spring (and summer?) spent on lockdown. Anyone else?

        • khal spencer Says:

          Sounds interesting. Let’s see how long we are kept under house arrest.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          The whole loop is 53 miles. If someone wants to do less, that should not be a problem if we all start at the same park or trailhead parking area.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Tucson loop sounds great. I can drop in on my cousin Lori while I am at it, assuming she is still speaking to me.

            Sadly my college friend Bill Seligman died a few years back before I could get my ass off the couch and visit him in Tucson. He was a Vietnam vet and left Rochester, NY for Tucson in 1976-77 to get a fresh start and leave the bad juju behind, which he apparently did. He crossed the country on a Honda Gold Wing and was a member of a veteran’s motorcycle club, Legion Riders, in Tucson. Eventually he wore the Gold Wing out and had a big Harley. Good guy. Broke my heart to hear he passed away.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Have you read of the latest Bug-related tragedy? With closures and lockdowns demand has dried up and some craft brewers are having to get really creative really fast, or start (sob!) pouring their wares down the drain.

      For nearly 22 years, Barley Brown’s Beer, in Baker City, Ore., sold only draft beer. After Oregon closed the state’s bars and restaurants in March, distributors canceled their orders. Tyler Brown, the owner and general manager, had to decide whether to dump more than 12,000 gallons of his fragrant I.P.A.s., which are most aromatic and flavorful within 90 days.
      “That would kill me,” Mr. Brown said.

      The brewery quickly pivoted to beat the clock. By the end of March, Barley Brown’s began canning its popular Pallet Jack I.P.A., something Mr. Brown had sworn he would never do. “I would rather eat a lot of crow than send beer to a sewer,” he said.

      • carl duellman Says:

        most of the breweries around here offer curbside crowlers. they even share cans when one brewery is running low.

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