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Author Topic: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)  (Read 3183 times)

Offline trialsguy

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Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:37:33 PM »
Ok, first I have to apologize to CaveGorilla.  I said if I'd ever come down there
I'd give him a holler.  Well, this was a quick trip, a really quick trip, and I
neglected to do so.  I'm sorry. I did spend a night in Dark Canyon, that's about
it.
 
So.... I used to work for the Forest Circus in the Guadalupe Mts., NM, USA.  That
was in the late 70's.  Our crews had a saying back then, "You can never leave the
Guads".  I guess so.  They're a really cool place, pretty much bland on the
surface, but there are lots of hidden caves and canyons and nooks and crannies
and cool tidbits to be found.

So I headed out from my humble abode between Albaturkey and San Taffy, headed
south, with 4 days for the trip.  Since the route covered some of the same ground
going down and coming up, some of these pictures are jumbled and conglomerated. 
You won't know the difference.

First stretch was down "South 14" which is now some other numbered road, as the
NMDOT decided to straighten things out a couple years ago, which confuses anybody
that's been here very long.  It's still "South 14".

Anyway, here's the road, passing through lots of very old villages on the way
south to Mountainair.



The old villages (Chilili, Punta de Agua, Manzano, Tajique, Torreon, Escabosa)
are land grant places, meaning the King of Spain granted big tracts of land to
Spanish settlers, even though the land wasn't his to give away.  (Ask the Native
Americans about this). But the land-grantees are very provincial and protective
of it all.  Anyway, feelings can be strong in these places, and the locals were
quite hostile to newcomers (Anglo hippies) that wanted to move into the country
in the 60's and 70's. Some bad stuff happened.  I think things have mellowed out
a little bit since then.  That's probably more than you wanted to know. 

Interesting places.

Mountainair is an old railroad/bean farming town, but it's trying to revive
itself as an Art Place.  Best of luck to them, it's a cool place, and a real
community.  For many years I've taken breakfast rides to the Schaffer Hotel, a
real funky place that just keeps on going.



Across the street is this old garage.  Once worked on bean trucks, no doubt.



And across the other street is this old bean elevator



Back to the Schaffer (pronounce shay-fer).  The hotel/cafe way back when...when Mountainair was "The Bean Capital of the
World".  (NM has more than one "Bean Capital of the World").



The inside now, with it's 1920-1930's decorations.  No sign of beans here, other
than on your plate.







When I pulled up, there was a spiffy BMW out front, and a guy coming out of the
hotel.  We talked a bit, I went in, he was leaving.  He was a loooong time
leaving, and I went out to the bike to get something and found out his brand-new-used
Beemer wouldn't start.  It'd crank all day, but not fire.  I had tools,
but.... it was pretty much of a fuel-injected plastic blob, and neither of us
knew where to start.  He got on the phone, I went back in.  End result.... he had
it in gear, clutch pulled in.  He put it in neutral and it started immediately. 

Gotta be in neutral to start, but it'll still crank if it's in gear... but not
fire.  Clever, those Germans!

Outside, more decorations by "Pop" Schaffer.



Did I mention "beans"?  Well, there was a lot of dry-land bean farming in this
area until the early 50's, when a drought happened.  Wiped all the bean farming
out.  My wife takes care of a cemetery from Hyer, NM, long gone, though the
water-retention berms for the bean farming are still there.  South of Mountainair
was this display...



There were lots of old bean farming machines...





Ok, another old piece of machinery....    haphap

 

The area had a lot of abandoned buildings.





Even older stuff... Gran Quivira National Monument.
It was a busy place that's really quieted down.



But had once been much busier.









Local wildlife...





Great sign



Onward to Claunch. Capitans way to the left, then Carrizo Peak, then Sierra
Blanca straight ahead, and the Guads way somewhere beyond all that.



Well, I came over a hill, and there was a big thing in the road.  Turned out to
be about a dozen buzzards on a fresh deer carcase er... a yummy lunch... but a
car coming the other way had scared most off just before this picture.  (I need a
camera behind my eyes, no stopping and fumbling around for it, and trying to
figger out how to ride and photograph at the same time).  Scared 'em off, but
they circled and cursed at me for quite a while.  Buzzards are patient, they knew
I'd move on and they could return without a snoopy tourist watching.





Claunch.  Another bean-town-gone-bust.



Past Claunch




The Jicarillas, instead of going straight south to Carrizozo on the slab (around
here a 'slab' is any well-traveled road) I took a detour through the Jicarillas 
and stopped again at this old schoolhouse.  Pretty cool.



Onward.  The town of White Oaks is about straight ahead, where that little dark
patch is at the foot of the mountain.



My previous trip, (in two parts on the forum) http://klrworld.com/forums/index.php/topic,161.0.html was to the Capitans.
Then  I went east to the Capitan Mountains from here.  Now, I went southwest to Carrizozo.  Despite
having worked in the area for a number of years, I'd never been to the old mining
town of White Oaks.  Finally saw it.  Once a big thriving place (boom/bust), now
there are a few amazing buildings left (preserved) in the middle of what would
otherwise be a dry, nondescript valley. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Oaks,_New_Mexico







So down the hill to Carrizozo, then try to gas up with plastic, but the whole
town's web was down, so (horrors!) I had to pay cash. Headed east towards
Capitan, but took the road south to Nogal ("walnuts" en espanol).  Headed through
'town', up the valley.  I was going towards Ruidoso ("noisy" en espanol, because
of the major river - a "creek" to you Easterners)- going through there.

Up the valley, Nogal Peak in the distance.  The road goes up the valley, then
pops over the ridge and comes down into Bonito Creek ("pretty") , the place I
worked for the FS when I first came to NM. 



Kinda steep in places.  The FS had just "maintained" the road which meant loose
and rolly-rocky, with no clue as to what was firm or soft.  Slow going, as I'm a
cautious guy.  Some nice oak groves.  I didn't take any pictures, but at the
bottom of the climb, I saw a guy sitting on a log.  Turned out he and his wife
were in a big hike and their doggy (lying behind the log) had cut his paw and had
to be carried out.  When they got to the road, the lady went for the car, she
passed me on the way up, hauling ass.  I'm sure the dog was ok, he looked perky
enough.



Going down the other side, some deer.



Down into Bonito, I'd called the FS about fire restrictions, and their web site
said there were no campgrounds in Bonito Creek.  Ummm... I remember one..... 
Well, there it was...



... but evidently it was closed because of the Little Bear Fire, and the FS was
afeard that big rains would come and wash all the tourists out of the canyon. 
Legal paranoia, I think.   :soap: I would have felt better if the lady would have
said that there's a campground up there that's closed because of the perceived
danger, rather than telling me there's no campground up there. (End of soapbox).

Bonito Lake.



Onward, down to the main highway (48) to Alto, then up towards the ski area for
camping.  I headed to Skyline Campground because I figured it would be less
populated than Oak Grove, which was closer to the pavement.  (Wrong, but not by
much).

Nice place, no water, had poopers.  Middle of the night I got woken up by
tromping and snorting.... horses?  They hung out most of the night, maybe there
was good grass around there, I dunno. Weird.





The place had been burned over by that Little Bear Fire.... nice grass, eh? 
Nature heals, in Her own good time.



Nearby was Mon Jeau Lookout, a very rocky place.  Nice road up there, though. 
The FS sign said "Lookout Closed", which I figured meant the road up there was
closed, but I've learned to ignore my more sign-abiding habits and see what's
really up there.  Onward... totally open.  I guess the "closed" meant there was
no lookout person, which is pretty normal these days.








Looking up.



looking at Texas.



Horses?  At the bottom of the hill was a small cluster of houses, and just uphill
from them were these guys/gals.  Pretty nonchalant.  Momma's in the road and
doesn't really care about me.



She comes up to inspect.



The kid comes up too.



Ok, let's get personal.



Onward to Part 2.....

Offline rarepartbuilder

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 04:50:40 AM »
Enjoying your report... the back ground information is wonderful.
I am contemplating some kind of camera mount so  the capture unit would "be ready" . I'd like to try  THIS feature some day.

Offline Road2adv

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 08:56:04 AM »

Great report and photos. I really like this sign.  http://www.southmtpages.com/klr_photos/guads_2014/P1020548.jpg
 
Thank you for sharing you part of the world. What a great place so full of history. .

Ride safe. Change the gas often.   jerry

Offline Spanky

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 11:44:15 AM »
Very nice report....!! I was in Roswell all last week...had the KLR but no time to ride! Tooled around the outskirts of town and that was it!
Zat choo, Buckwheat...?

Offline Bernie

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 04:12:40 PM »
Great pics and report
 Thanks for sharing

Offline Pale Rider

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 05:51:59 PM »
Looks like you had a nice ride.  I worked on a fire crew in the Guadalupe's in the summer of 1978.
Worked for a guy named Ken McCaulum.  It's on my bucket list to get over there with my KLR sometime before I get too old.

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 10:50:59 PM »
Looks like you had a nice ride.  I worked on a fire crew in the Guadalupe's in the summer of 1978.
Worked for a guy named Ken McCaulum.  It's on my bucket list to get over there with my KLR sometime before I get too old.

Holy sh*t!  Where are you now?    I was there '76 to '79.      PM.....

Offline Spanky

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 02:35:21 PM »
About 750 ish yards west of Agua de Punta on B076...where it turns south there is a "ruin." Any idea what it is?
Zat choo, Buckwheat...?

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Guadalupe Mts., NM (Part 1)
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 04:03:27 PM »
About 750 ish yards west of Agua de Punta on B076...where it turns south there is a "ruin." Any idea what it is?

Not me, I've never been down there.  Now, I'll have to go check it out.     :smiler:

 

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