. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mitchell Trail, Los Alamos

Yesterday I hiked up the Mitchell Trail here in my town and today my thighs are still sore from that 1,000 foot climb up from the bottom. Every time I got up out of a chair, my thighs would burn and it would remind me of the great hike (great because the run down the mountain was a blast and I had two friends with me) and made me wonder where the trail got its name. So today, I did what I always do when I have a question and want an answer: I Googled it!

According to the USDA Forest Service website, the Mitchell Trail #69 was established in 1973 by David Mitchell for his Eagle Scout project. He thought the town needed a trail to go up to the Guaje Reservoir, which at one time was part of the town's water source. When Mitchell died a few years after the trail was established, it was named after him.

Most of the trail winds along the burned area from the Cerro Grande fire of 2000. When I first walked the trail (walked since this was before my running days) a year after the fire, it was depressing that all the natural growth was gone and the whole area had a charcoal look about it. The trail had been repaired from the fire's effects, so it was walkable, but not pretty. Yesterday's hike through the relatively flat portion of the trail before the climb up revealed a lot of plant growth with flowers everywhere. Of course, the burnt sticks of trees made the area kind of eery, but it does look prettier now.

The view from the top of the saddle was remarkable; the whole townsite was visible as well as the Sangre de Cristos across the Rio Grande Rift Valley (see pic below). After talking and resting for a bit, we three jogged down the mountain to our starting point. Total miles: 3.6.

I doubt if I'll do this trail anytime soon (it's one of those "once in a while" trails) but I do look forward to our next trail next week. I just hope we pick a flat one!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful view. Too bad you have to climb to get to it. So glad that you are enjoying your hikes. Keep it up.