Then, later in April, I went down to New Mexico for some backpacking and turkey hunting.
It was a bit of a shuffle to find sitters for the dogs/house, but I did manage it finally by having 3 people come at various times. I was worried if it was going to work out right, but in the end everyone showed up at the right times and it all worked brilliantly.
The trip down was pretty uneventfull. Stopped off in Santa Fe to drop off something for my friend D and made it to ALBQ in pretty good time to meet up with friends.
We made it down to the trailhead around 7pmish, still enough light to setup the tent and get our dinner cooked.
The next day we hunted out the morning with no sign of turkles, and then packed up and hiked into our usual camp site. The trail going in is pretty easy, one uphill part and several downhill ones, along with a dozen or so stream crossings. Managed to make in in in good time. Then, the next few days we were on the hunting schedule: get up at 5:30am or so, hunt until about 10, go back to camp and relax, then hunt from about 5:30pm until around 8 or so. Good times. We heard a ton of gobblers, but couldn’t seem to get close to any. We did have a hen come in and walk about 10 feet away. She was very pretty.
One of our party did get sick a day or so in, and he went out then to go and rest up in a hotel. The last day before heading back, we decided to walk out and go camp in another area that we had seen turkeys in last year. Turns out that they were thick in there, lots of gobbling, but again, they were reluctant to come in when called. So, we returned empty handed. Still a very fun time however.
On to pictures:
The view from the viewpoint at the top of the Black Range. You can see for a long ways from there. You can see part of the very very very windy road that goes up there below.
My friend V making a call from the trailhead. This is how he got coverage…
My new trusty tent, purchased right before the trip. It’s a kelty gunnison 4. Not a bad tent. It kept the rain out nicely.
It did rain on us a lot on one of the days.
A before picture of us rogues.
Gobbles the turkey decoy and my friend B.
The tents setup at our camping site.
It was headed right for us!!!!
This was the morning of the day it rained so much. The forest was very lovely though.
Can you spot me in this picture?
My friend B. I think we were standing under a tree hoping the rain would slack off a bit so we could hike back to camp at this point.
The view up the side of the canyon from our camp.
B looking for which way to head.
The river was pretty normal when we got there, but with all the rain that one day it was pretty high by the time we left.
Very pretty though. We did spot trout in some of the bigger pools.
Another shot of the river.
Walking back to camp from a mornings hunting. Yes, thats the trail on the right there.
Lots of wild strawberries there. They were just in bloom when we were there, so of course no strawberries. ;(
On the way out there was this amazing fog in the valley below. I have never seen that sort of thing happen down there, but it was pretty cool.
I did get to use my new UV-C water purifier on this trip. Very handy. No pumping needed.
The tent did great. All my old backpacking gear worked fine.
I figure I walked around 30miles in 3 days.
All in all an excellent trip. I hope we do it again next year.