Less than a week after returning from the 100 mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, I'm still nursing a bit of a shin splint issue on my right leg. Not horrible but I am taking one week off from serious hiking just to be safe. I did about 2 miles yesterday and barely noticed it so expecting to be at 100% within a few more days. Other than that, no real lasting injuries! No blisters, strains, cuts, stomach problems, or any of the not so fun parts!
That means it is now time to start planning the next adventure! Currently I have a number of adventures in mind but we're rapidly approaching the time of year where most of Texas quits being a fun place to camp. Not too much longer and the night time temperatures in Texas will be too warm for enjoyable sleeping for most of Texas which is a bummer.
So, without further delay, here is a partial list of my next set of adventures between now and October:
First up is a 5 day Daddy Daughter trip, likely sometime in May.
Yearly dad and daughter camping trip! Two of the past three years, I've taking my daughter camping just East of Santa Fe New Mexico. We do things a bit differently in the Spears family. As with most of my quick excursions, the trip starts with us getting in the car and hitting the road by around 4AM! This has us pulling into the Santa Fe area around 2PM and with a half day ahead of us to do stuff!
This year I'm planning something different but instead of going to the Santa Fe area, I think we're going to instead head to south west NM and hit the Gila Cliff Dwellings! Day one, on the road by 4AM, arrive at camp by 4PM! Day two, hiking around cliff dwellings and enjoy the history and beauty of the nation park: https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm
Day three, pack up by around 8AM and drive to the White Sand Dunes around four hours east. Play on the sand dunes for a few hours and then drive another 3 hours east to the Guadalupe Mountain National park and make camp there at the Pine Springs camp grounds: https://www.nps.gov/gumo/index.htm
Day Four, up fairly early and climb Maxine's first mountain and the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak! https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/texas/guadalupe-peak-texas-highpoint-trail Tough trail so we'll start our day fairly early, eat a good camp breakfast and I'll carry a day pack for water, lunch, and jackets. From what I've read, the two many challenges in the hike are the steep grade and the wind!
After a tough day of climbing, I'm expecting we'll just want to crash at our camp so planning on not packing up our tents before the hike. After the hike, we'll have a nice relaxing evening at camp.
Day Five, pack it up and head on home! It is about a 7 hour drive from Guadalupe NP to Austin so likely home with a relaxing evening still ahead of us!
And that is adventure number one!
In far less, detail, adventure number two will likely be a NM hike as a warmup and test hike for my later summer adventures. Currently planning on something at least in this area: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-mexico/north-truchas-peak-backpacking-trip Why? Fairly easy (by my standards) drive to get to the trail head in NM. Do the hike in June so there will be plenty of snow melt and easy water access. The hike is high elevation (10,000'+) and lots of climbing so I can test out my fitness and also get a test for how much taking acetazolamide before hand helps. Again, while a tough hike, this is really a test hike for doing the next hike in late July or August!
Finally, my next BIG hike is the same hike I did last year, the Four Pass Loop outside of Aspen in Colorado. While I completed it last year, I was alone, I was not prepared, and I suffered through a lot of it. This year I plan to be prepared and truly try to enjoy it and also share it with friends. Good chance I'll also be taking my nephew, Bowman, with me as well. Sounds like he has had some fairly negative first backpacking experiences and I want to make sure this one is amazing and positive.
This year I plan on doing the Four Pass Loop from the Crested Butte side as well. Last year I did it from the Aspen side and spending time in Aspen was the LEAST enjoyable part of the whole trip. The Crested Butte side adds a few easy miles to the trip and also has free parking at the trailhead. Best part is, no crazy traffic, no impossible parking, and no more 3 bus rides just to get to the trailhead!
If you're a friend and you've read this far and would like to join me on Truchas Peak or Four Pass Loop, message me! Happy to have some company for those!