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Old 02-25-2008, 08:07 AM   #1
buggs OP
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Jornada del Muerto via Monticello

Stream Crossings in Monticello
February 23, 2008

Quote:
Slip into the waters.
Listen.
The gurgling and swirling liquid carries the talk and laughter of Apache men, women and children who once used these waters to relax and recuperate from the trails.

“These waters, they soothe me. I could stay here." With those words, hope dangled before a New Mexico frontier wracked with Indian wars. Though not within his traditional homeland of southeastern Arizona, Cochise, the venerated and feared Chiricahua Apache leader, liked what Ojo Caliente offered . . . sanctuary and soothing waters to mollify his spirit and body.


I woke up this morning to rain here in Albuquerque. I loaded my bike on the trailer in the rain and headed south to Socorro to meet the other guys. Once I reach Belen it stopped rainning. I arrived at Grizzly's Dad's pad at about 10:00Am and soon all the riders started to arrive. We had a total of nine riders and all of us were eager to ride.



Grizzly took us out to to a canyon on our way to Magdalena. This would be day one of a two day ride and on this day we will ride the Monticello canyon, which includes a few water crossings. I had made that ride before but all the other guys in the group had not. It was still cool but it was forcast to get as high as 65 degrees. We were all very excited as we rode in the sand around a maze of canyons on our way to Magdalena. I tried to keep up as the riders up ahead were kicking huge clouds of dust.



I want to thank Grizzly for the hospitality while parking our vehicles in Socorro, he allowed us to park them at his dad's home. I really enjoyed the tour of the property and watching all the neat vehicles.

I am glad everything turned ok for Grizzly on the high speed slide on the gravel. Right before the turn on slab to Magdalena, he departed our group to ride back to Socorro

We met up with two riders in Magdalena and rode in the cool day to the VLA. We made sure we rode very close to one of the huge antennas and took a little rest. It was starting to warm up and it was sunny. A perfect day for riding.



After a brief stop while appreciating the huge antennas we headed south. Our destination is the water crossings at Monticello.

On our way there we had to stop as a herd of antelope ran right in front of us and the other part of the herd ran along side of us for a while. They actually kept up with our speed for a while. It was the darnest thing I have ever seen.

After an hour of riding we toook a small dirt road toward the visible entrance of the Monticello box. The Monticello Canyon Trail is just northwest of the small town of Monticello, which is approximately 21 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences. The trailhead is located a the intersection of SR 142 and FR 139. Ranging in elevation from approximately 5,200 feet to a little over 6,200 feet, the trail follows the Alamosa River/Creek from the town of Monticello upstream to the Monticello Box. The Monticello Canyon Trail is about 17 miles long and takes only a few hours to reach the end. Right before we reach the entrance we came to our first water crossings, one was about knee deep, but all the riders did well.

Soon we arrived to the entrance of the Monticello box and we made our entry. The high walls of the canyon made things a little bit dark and we had to adjust our eyes to make our way over the differtent size rocks while riding the stream.



In past visits I had seen more water but still, the water was there. We rode the stream straight on.

The stream is fed by water springs. The Ojo Caliente spring gushes forth at the foot of the San Mateo Mountains and can be reached by a short hike. Ojo Caliente is Spanish for “Hot Spring,” although, in this case, warm spring is a more accurate description. The primitive road runs through Alamosa Canyon from the springs to the village of Monticello , and made our approach from the east, entering though the Monticello box. The no trespassing signs slow people down just long enough to open the gates and drive through. The area appears remarkably free from rubbish and the usual litter that often accompanies popular outdoor recreation sites. Perhaps it is respect for the springs and the private property on which they are located that keeps it so clean. We can only hope that the owners appreciate the respect shown by visitors and that we can continue to be soothed by these waters.



The water crossings were many and at times it became a challange.



We continued on. Every once in a while someone would ask me, "hey buggs how many more crossings is there?" and I would answer, "I think this is the last one," and right after saying that we would cross another, and another, and another. "How many more Buggs?" "Seriously this is the last one," I would say then we would get soaked again while crossing yet another water crossing. It appeared that everyone was having a great time, most talked about coming back.

Soon we came upon a jeep stuck deep in mud.



Joey came to the rescue and pulled the jeep out of the mud. Most of us did not think Joey would be able to get that jeep out, but he made us eat our words. After a little tug and pull, the jeep was free. I really want to thank Joey for following us on his truck, it was nice to have him there for in case we needed him. Joey is a stud on that truck, he would follows us everywhere we went.



We finally made it to the Desert View Inn and we were glad because we were soaked wet. Surprisingly it was not cold during the Monticello ride to TorC.



The rooms were clean and we got to park our bikes right next to our doors. It was great. We ate dinner and went to bed. With the high anticipation for the ride the next day, I just wished I could fall asleep.

Tomorrow we ride the Jornada del Muerto.

___________________________________ **************** __________________________________

View the Slideshow for more pictures from today.
You can also view the Slideshows of more pictures of Monticello and the VLA, I have taken on this ride and in the past visits.
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buggs screwed with this post 02-25-2008 at 09:16 AM
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:00 AM   #2
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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Chaper two??

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Old 02-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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Being formulated currently methinks.



Atomic and Buggs
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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Ok so that was day one what about day two,
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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Beautiful !! All that in one day??

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Beautiful !! All that in one day??

Thats why we love New Mexico...not to mention this is February.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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Jornada del Muerto via Monticello

With a bunch of help from Buggs I was able to upload all my pictures from the ride. Thanks Buggs.

Click on this link to see the slide show.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2413741...89015523/show/
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the Great Ride

Hey All,

Thanks for the great weekend. I had a blast.

Buggs - thanks for setting up the ride and taking pictures. The box was fantastic.

Slojoe - thanks for the truck support and taking pictures. Putting my tools in your truck the second day was a back saver.

Grizzly - thanks to you and your and dad for letting us park our rigs at his place

It looks like I might have to spend more time in New Mexico during the winter!

Greg
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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Joey:

Nice set of pics to complement the occasion! Thanks for your photos...good keepers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Slojoe
With a bunch of help from Buggs I was able to upload all my pictures from the ride. Thanks Buggs.

Click on this link to see the slide show.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2413741...89015523/show/
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:43 PM   #11
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Talking

Great ride all around. Thanks Buggs. And thanks to the team. And to Joe for ridng chase vehicle.
The second day was as dry as the first was wet
The box canyon is amazing to see and ride. Let's do it again from the other end I'll try not to lay down in the stream so much next time.

Sorry I did not get to ride with ya Grizzly. Maybe the next one.

I'll post a few pics:
James and I left snow in Albuquerque and got on I25. We started offroad at Bernardo.





We headed southwest towards Magdelena where we planned to meet up with the ride coming from Socorro.



South of the VLA a herd of antelope paced us for awhile.


We re-grouped before entering the canyon. There is a warm spring near the entrance which empties into the stream entering the canyon.

I do not have any pics from the canyon. Guess I was just too busy.

The next day we left TorC and took Surface roads south to Rincon.


On the way north Buggs lead us on a side trip to go up Caballo.


One of the gentler sections of the road up to the peak.


View from about half way.


The road was dry and the tempertures were great.


We just flew north until we hit route 60 and back to Socorro.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:14 PM   #12
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Jornada del Muerto

Jornada del Muerto
February 24, 2008

Quote:
"Take this journey and feel the weather - the parched air, or the cold wind. Imagine 400 years ago, traveling step by step, with no relief for your swollen tongue or empty belly, praying to God not to be one of the ones taken by the Journey of the Dead."


The morning started at 07AM with breakfast at Hill Top Cafe in Truth or Consequences. The food was good, but we did not stay long to chat, there was riding to be had.

We gassed up and headed south on the frontage road to find one of the many entrances to the Jornada del Muerto. You may be wondering what this Jornada del Muerto is all about?



The Jornada del Muerto ("Journey of the Dead Man" in Spanish, often mistranslated as "Journey of the Dead") in New Mexico was the name given by the Spanish conquistadors to a desert basin and the particularly dry 100-mile (160 km) stretch of the route through it leading northward from New Spain (or Mexico) to northern New Mexico.

This route became El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. The Jornada del Muerto runs between the Oscura and San Andres Mountains on the east, with the Caballo Mountains and the Fray Cristóbal Range on the west. The name Jornada del Muerto Volcano refers to a shield volcano and lava field, about 10 by 15 miles, located at the northern end of the desert basin.



The history:

The name, Journey of the Dead Man probably originated with a German man who died there while fleeing the Inquisition in the later 1600s, although due to the complete lack of water, grazing or firewood the route through this area already had a negative reputation. Although quite flat, the Jornada del Muerto took several days to a week to cross and presented great difficulties to the earliest Spanish travelers who were on horseback, with wagons pulled by oxen or on foot.

After passing the "Jornada del Muerto" the earliest Spanish encountered, not the Seven Cities of Cíbola, but the humbler walled villages of the Pueblo dwellers, who had a well-developed agriculture and a peaceable tradition. At the first crossing the Jornada del Muerto in 1598 they named the first pueblo they came to Socorro (Spanish for 'help' or 'assistance').

In 1680, during the Pueblo Revolt the Spanish settlers were forced to retreat southward, along the Jornada del Muerto, together with Indians from the Isleta and Socorro Pueblos. Of the more than 2000 who left Socorro fewer than 1200 survived the crossing. The survivors resettled on the Rio Grande around and just north of El Paso del Norte, 'the Pass to the North', which is now separated into Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. In 1692, Diego de Vargas led a new group of settlers north across the Jornada del Muerto to northern New Mexico.

Homesteaders in the 1860s to 1920s tried to ranch in the Jornada del Muerto, digging wells for the cattle. The first well was at Aleman, dug by Lt. John Martin, and it appears to be the last of the homesteads to be abandoned at the end of the twentieth century.



So we were determined to ride the Jornada, instead of horses we would ride steel machines. We made sure we were topped off in TorC and after about 40 miles travelling south, found the entrance to the Jornada just south of Hatch. We saw many chile trees along the route in Hatch (they were actually pecan trees).

The wether was forcast to be in the 70's, perfect for doing this ride, in the summer is a scorcher. For future reference, fuel up in hatch, that would be a mistake we made which we almost regreted. The trek is sometimes described as 90 miles of "hell" and it can be unoforgiving.



The road was a decent dirt/gravel well maintained road. It goes on for ever and the bikes kick a lot of dust. About 20 miles into the journey we detour west and headed for the Caballo peak, climbing all the way to the top. The road is a service road for numerous antennas on top of the mountain.



We were treated to some of the best views in New Mexico.




Caballo lake to the southwest.



TorC and Elephant Butte to the Northwest.



And the dreaded Jornada to the east. To truly appreciate the vistas visit the slideshow on the link at the end of this post and you wil see what we got to enjoy on top of Caballo peak.



We soon decided that we needed to make our way back down and resume our journey north, out of the Jornada. That detour would add about 30 miles to our travel. I then realized that that would put us at about 200 miles of travel to complete the circle. That was not good for some us with limited range. But we kept on, not really knowing what would happen.



After a few miles of travelling on the lonely desolate dirt road we came to a group of riders on Beemers taking a break in the middle of the desert. They were all riding big GS's with plenty of storage and big gas tanks. They offered to help us with gas if we got in a tight bind, but we had full intentions to finish the journey on our own. Besides we had Joey on his pick-em up-truck, we could always steal some gas from him if we had to. So we waved our farwell and moved on.



We continued on for many more miles. Some riders had to switch to reserve, or use the fuel bottle on hand.



Suddenly we realize we were riding along the White Sands Missile Range. We saw several simulated target mock vehicles scattered on a field over the fence. We couldn't help but look up to the sky for possible incoming. We essentially had the military range to the east of us and the Turner ranch to the west of us. So we kept on going north and at about 190 miles into the journey we came to the main paved road that connects to San Antonio, that is New Mexico.



We took the last short stretch back to Socorro knowing that we had competed the Jornada without an incident and very happy for the two days of riding in February in southern New Mexico.

Feel free to visit the Slideshow for more pictures.

I want to thank all of you who participated in the Jornada ride, you made the ride enjoyable. You guys rock! One more for the memory lane.
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buggs screwed with this post 02-26-2008 at 08:12 AM
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:15 AM   #13
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Outstanding pics buggs, great stuff.

Really made my day with those framed pics of beautifull scenery
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:29 PM   #14
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Looks like fun wish I had been able to go
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:32 AM   #15
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