2010-04-02 34 -108
On the open, rolling grasslands south of the lava flows in the West Malpais Wilderness.
- redaragorn and 3 yr old son
It had been a long time since my last hash. Like, since New Years. I was busy, yes, but I also needed a break (and many of the NM roads get UGLY in the winter). Anyway, today was a good day to get back to it. I'd been checking hashes pretty regularly during my hiatus, but I finally had the magical combination of a decent sounding adventure AND a free day to enjoy it. It's on. Since it was Good Friday, I'd been able to scope out the location online the day before, so I knew I was headed to an area of El Malpais just south of the lava flows. At least I knew it was all public lands, so access wasn't really going to be an issue. I wasn't entirely sure where the roads ended and the wilderness area began, but I figured that worst case I'd be hiking about 4 miles. I can do that. And oh yeah, I'm bringing my son. He's getting old enough to walk for a while, so I figured that will help. Let's do it!
We got off pretty early, and the skies looked sunny and beautiful. The downside was that it was a CHILLY spring day. Outside temps when we stopped the car were in the mid-30s. But it was WINDY. Thankfully, I came prepared for some chill, so I bundled up myself and the boy and we headed away from the car. Within 100 yards he was crying and miserable from the cold. We headed back to the car and I bundled him up even more with a spare jacket of mine that I'd brought--thank you, Gore-Tex! Unfortunately, he can't really walk at all with my jacket arms on his legs, so I had to throw him into the backpack right away. The GPS read 3.5 miles to the hash. The terrain, while moderately flat overall, wasn't as easy to hike on as it looked. It was mostly open grassland with a few junipers and the occasional volcanic hillock, but the rough volcanic rocks blended in with the grasses and made walking rather difficult on the ankles. The wind was shrill and constant, and blowing almost directly from the direction I wanted to head. The boy, while not so cold anymore, was still somewhat miserable at times because of being cooped up in the backpack and having the wind right in his face. I was very glad when we finally made it to the hash after almost two hours and about four miles of walking. I got the pictures, and was VERY glad to turn my back to the wind and head toward the car again. The tromp back was slightly less uncomfortable, but I was awfully glad to set the pack down when we got there. Quite a day...phew!
Track located here.
|redaragorn earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|