Posts Tagged ‘Doc Long Picnic Site’

Off to see the Doc

September 11, 2018

Sam Hillborne, meet Doc Long.

Doc Long, that is.

Dr. William Henry Long, a forest pathologist, lived and worked in New Mexico from 1910 through the 1930s, living in a cabin on the site of the Cibola National Forest picnic grounds that now bear his name. He was a Texan, a Baptist and a Democrat. Feature that, if you can.

It’s pretty much an 11-mile trip from El Rancho Pendejo to Doc Long’s if you leg it up and down Embudito Trail, Trail 365, Pino Trail, and Grand Enchantment Trail, or so says Google Maps. More like 20 if you do it on your Sam Hillborne via Old Route 66, NM 14 and NM 536. You get a couple thousand feet of vertical gain in that 40-mile round trip, too.

Also, moreover, furthermore, and too, wind. Tailwind up, headwind back, as per the rules. Unless you get a headwind both ways, which is not uncommon in New Mexico.

Back in the Day® Doc Long’s old hangout was either the parking lot, the start or the finish for the Sandia Crest Time Trial, one of the countless events at which I failed to distinguish myself.

I was no great shakes on the bike today, either, covering the out-and-back in three hours.

The worst part of this ride, for me, is always the return trip through Cedar Crest. You’d think it would be a fun plummet back to Old Route 66, but it’s not a descent in the strictest sense of the term, because it serves up a few short humps to break your rhythm, spirit and balls. Plus the wind is always in your chops, the shoulder is strewn with debris, and the traffic lanes runneth over with assholes.

If you’re lucky you don’t get runnethed over. I was lucky.

Once at Doc Long’s I was briefly tempted by delusions of grandeur to leave Cedar Crest in the rear view, where it belongs, and soldier on to NM 165 and thence to Placitas, Bernalillo and home via NM 313, Roy and Tramway, making the ride more like 62 miles. But I didn’t have enough food or water for that one.

Now that I think of it, though, I could’ve stopped to refuel at the Range Cafe in Bernalillo. Then I would’ve been full of beans and generating my own tail wind for the remainder of the trip.