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One Rock Dams

One Rock Dams

Erosion is a problem here in Santa Fe. One of the best and most interesting ways of combating this annoying problem is with the use of one rock dams. Santa Fe only receives an average of fourteen inches of rain per year. The rain comes in two types such as nice short  light rain and gully washers. The gully washers can do considerable damage if proper preparations have not been made.

Do you need a one rock Dam?

The soil here in New Mexico is firm and water need time to gradually sink in. If there is no impediment the water will rush off carrying lose soil and cutting gullies. That is why cactus and other draught tolerant plants do well here. They quickly suck up moisture with their shallow roots and store the water up in the plant. A good way to slow down the rushing water is with one rock dams.

Layout of three one rock dams

Three one rock dams alternate to slow the rain.

What are one rock dams?

A one rock dam is just a line of rocks placed across an area were rain water flows. The rock dam will slow  down the rushing water. This will allow the water time to sink into the soil. The dam will also trap seeds of native plants and grasses and allow them to grow. The rocks should be laid in alternate patterns down a hill side. Over time this will convert a barren hill side into one covered with native grasses and bushes such as Apache Plumes.

Where do you get the rocks?

Rocks for you one rock dam projects can be obtained for free. You can drive up Hyde Park road and pick up rock next to the road which have slid down from the mountains. Another good spot is along I-25 were there is a cut through the rocks. There is plenty of room to pull over and pick up all those nice lose rocks.

For more information or a tour contact Santa Fe Footprints.

Fun in the Rio Grande

Fun in the Rio Grande

I have told you about getting out and hiking. We have talked about hiking on low trails. Next it was hiking up high. So now it is time to have fun in the Rio Grande.

The Rio Grande?

When you hear about the Rio Grande everyone immediately congers up a vision of the border between the U.S.A. and Mexico. That is the case in Texas from the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas city of El Paso. After El Paso the Rio Grande makes a right turn and heads almost straight north through the middle of the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. By the way New Mexico is part of the USA and has been as of 1848.

Keeping cool in the Rio Grande

Keeping cool in the Rio Grande. Sipping a beverage and Chillin !

Time to get Wet !

To deal with the lockdown I have edges everyone to get outside and go on a hike. I have hiked down low in the Galisteo Basin. Then I hiked up high to the top of Atalya mountain. One of the first outside adventures was taking a group up Hyde Park road to the forest along the Borrego Trail. The temperature is rising so now it was time to get wet and have fun in the Rio Grande.

What to do in the River?

How about a little picnic by and in the river? That sounded like an excellent idea! I loaded up the car with chairs, a cooler, drinks, snacks and some lunch and headed north of Santa Fe on highway 285. Fifty mile up the road is County Line river access. A great place to put in a raft, kayak, paddle board or just set some chair in the river and chill.

Fantastic view of the Rio Grande Valley

Fantastic view of the Rio Grande Valley. No virus worries here !!

Chillin’ in the River !

Chairs in the river. Cold water cooling my legs. A cold beverage in my hand. Bright sun above. Watching the rafters and kayakers drift by. Fun in the Rio Grande. This is the perfect way to forget about coronavirus or anything else for that matter.

If you want to find out how to have fun in the Rio Grande, contact Santa Fe Footprints.

Hiking Up High

Hiking Up High

I have done a nice semi flat hike now it is time to do some hiking up high. I am not ready to go way up high as in Deception Peak at over 12,000 feet however I am ready for Atalya mountain trail. This trial is a 2,000-foot elevation gain to the summit of 9,121 feet.

Still Locked Down

Our good Governor here in the Land of Enchantment (that is what we call the State of New

Side bell penstemon along the trail.

Side bell penstemon along the trail.

Mexico) has loosened the lock down. Loosened just a bit that is. Museums and all the sites tourist come to Santa Fe to see are still under lock and key. But New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment because its natural beauty is enchanting.

Experience the Enchantment

In the current situation and under any conditions to truly experience the enchantment I say you must get out and hike. This time I decided to go hiking up high. For those who are thinking hiking up high, that sounds strenuous. It may be beyond what I can do. I say try it and I guarantee you will like it.

Atalya Trail
Sunshine streaming through the ponderosa pines.

On Atalya sunshine streams through the ponderosa pines.

The trail up Atalya mountain is a fairly famous and popular trail here in Santa Fe. Real hiking men and women talk about doing the trail in two hours. I’m not into speed. I’m into the

experience and of course the views. Plus, I’m not young and crazy! My round trip took a little over five hours. The five hours included time at the summit for little lunch and to take in the excellent views.

Worth the Effort

Along the trail there are several branches. One branch says ‘steep’ the other less so.  Even following the less so branches I had

On top of Atalya with Santa Fe below & the Jemez mt.

On top of Atalya with Santa Fe below & the Jemez mt. 50 miles distant.

to stop every now and then to get my breath. I kept marching on, working my legs and using my trekking poles to work my upper body. The tree provided shade but the patches of sunshine felt good. When I reached the top, I knew that hiking up high had been worth the effort.

Check out Santa Fe Footprints for hikes and historic tour around Santa Fe.

I Need Fresh Air

I Need Fresh Air

I need fresh air. We are still locked down. The NYT has published stories that sun, warm temperatures MAY not kill this virus. Never mind that it kills all known viruses and fresh air and sunshine has been good for people for centuries.

Where to Go?
A beautiful day to be on a trail

A beautiful day to be on a trail in the Galisteo Basin. You can see for 50 miles.

The main question I had was where to go. Last week I had led a group up into the mountains and hiked among the trees. This week I wanted semi flat and wide-open terrain. I knew the trails at Galisteo Basin were just the ticket. The Galisteo Basin is only a fifteen-minute drive south of Santa Fe.

The Hike.
Old windmill stand silent

Old windmill stand silent along a trail in the Galisteo Basin.

I began the hike at 8:30 am. I need fresh air and it was plentiful. The temperature was just right. Not to cool and not to hot. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright. The views extended for 50 miles in all direction. I like these trails because as I said they are fairly flat. At least they start out that way. The view is un-interrupted for 360 degrees around you. Starting a hike on this fairly flat terrain allows your mussels to flex and stretch.  You fill your lungs with fresh clean air and spirts begin to lift.

Going up.

The trails at Galisteo Basin are not all flat. After you get your legs working and you breath in copious amounts of fresh Santa Fe air you begin to go up hill. The ridges are not too high. Just enough to work the legs a bit more. The climb makes me take some deep breaths. I take more deep breaths. I need fresh air! I’m getting that fresh air!

On Top

The ridges are certainly not the top of the world here around Santa Fe but they do provide and unobstructed view for miles around.  I never get tired of these fantastic views which hiking around Santa Fe provide.

Finish

Three hours on the trial has revived my spirts and given me hope for the future.

A hike with Santa Fe Footprints is just the ticket for you.