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  Fun in the New Mexico Sun
 

Inside New Mexico
Up | 2000 | 2001 | Recap of the 2005 trip | Here is the scoop on 2006 | Equipment | What to expect | Can't wait for 2009 trip to start!

What to expect

Weather:

The temperatures in the area vary greatly.  There are cool mornings, warm to hot days, and cool to cold nights.  Usually you wake up to clear skies, and a temperature in the high 40s/low 50s.  During the day it can get into the high 80s/low 90s.  At night it cools off, and sometimes there can be frost overnight.

In the mountains, it rains almost every afternoon, around one o'clock.  This didn't happen to us last year, except for the last two days, with the last day being a pretty good gully washer.  For the most part, the rain only lasts for about an hour, and serves to cool off the air in the early afternoon. 

Environment:

It is a pretty remote section of land.  The entrance into the place is a 25 mile drive down a gravel road, through some of the most beautiful alpine meadows and canyons I've ever seen.  Along the drive up, you'll spot tons of wildlife.  The most harrowing part of the drive are the switchbacks that ascend the Rock Wall.  As long as you keep your speed down, it's not that bad.  The road is wide, but I can tend to be bumpy.

The spot where we will be camping is at around 9600 feet in elevation.  There is a lot less oxygen at this altitude, and you'll find during the first couple of days that you get tired very quickly.  It's best to take it easy the first two days, and not go running up any mountains.  There are plenty of short hikes to take in the area to acclimate yourself.

Remember that the area is a wilderness, and we are just visiting.  The animals that are there stay there all year round.  Most animals we don't need to worry about.  There will be tons of chipmunks (aka mini-bears), deer, elk, turkeys, hawks, eagles, and most importantly, bears.  They are definitely there.  We saw one in our campsite not more than an hour after arriving last year.  There are precautions you have to take to protect the area, but most of it is common sense stuff, like not leaving any food out, and not to bring any food into your tent.  The bears will pretty much keep to themselves, but do not pass up an opportunity to get an easy meal.  Once they start to eat people food, they rarely go back to foraging in the forest, and usually end up having to be destroyed.  The saying the forest service uses is "A fed bear is a dead bear".

 

 

 

     
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