Ice Caves Trail – or the trail that Equestrians Ruined.

I’ve thought about how to frame this post for awhile.  Wren and I hiked it back in Show Low, AZ on February 20th and the trail was in a sad state of affairs as a result of inconsiderate equestrian use.

So, do I post an angry rant?  No, I’m not mad so that would be contrived.  Somber perhaps? Mourn the death of what was once glorious?  No, neither am I sad – and honestly the trail was probably never the pinnacle of excellence.

So – what I’ll try to stick the facts:

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From one wide open space to another

Yesterday we departed Big Bend of the Colorado State Park (just outside of Laughlin, NV) for Valley of Fire State Park (about an hour north of Las Vegas).  Big Bend of the Colorado was nice, although the park was set up more for big RV’s than our little rig.  We probably could have fit 5 more cars+trailers into the space we had.


After stopping in Henderson for some lunch at Buddha Belly Deli we took the scenic toll road through Lake Mead National Recreation Area rather than head up I-15 to get to Valley of Fire.

Some advice for any in the area faced with a similar choice:  pay the $10 toll.  This was perhaps the most beautiful 45 miles of sinuous road I have ever driven. Continue reading

Ghost of the Coyote Trail #641

Ghost of the Coyote is the best name I have ever seen for a trail.  Texas really liked to name trails “Golden Warbler Trail,” I’ve hiked at least 4 different Golden Warbler Trails and to the best of my minimal bird-watching knowledge have not seen this endangered species on any of them.  Sure – I didn’t see any Ghost Coyotes on this trail – but isn’t that the point of it being a ghost?  There was a bit of coyote scat…so that is probably close enough.

This trail is located in the White Mountain Trail System in Arizona and its interesting in that multiple sources disagree on length.  The WMTS website seems to think it is 16 miles, another source says 13 miles, and the Forest Service (the trail is located in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest) says 15 miles.

Well – in order to add to the confusion, my GPS says 14 miles.  Although – I did take two unmarked spurs that lead to great vistas.  Which lends credence to the 13 mile number.

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What this trip is, and how

In a lot of ways this trip is less a pursuit of some knowable goal that I am pursuing, and more a pursuit of the unknown.

Sure, along the way we are planning stops at iconic pieces of Americana: The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and the Sequoias among others.  But the routes between these points are legion, and our selection criteria are flexible.

Before delving into the routes that were chosen and why, it is perhaps important to look at the selection criteria.

Internet Access:

This is not a vain whim of a tragically internet-bound Gen Y’er, but a practical concern for a couple of reasons.  First, Wren is nearly finished with her masters degree from Texas A&M.  In order to keep up with lectures and submit homework internet is a must.  Thankfully our world far exceeds Star-Trek in the pervasive nature of data access.  No need to radio up to the ship to have Geordi ask the Computer to compute something for you – just ask the computer that everyone carries in their pocket to consult the interweb it has nearly ubiquitous access to. Continue reading

A quick summary of my journey so far:

What follows is a rough outline of my RV trip thus far.  I’ll go into more detail about what exactly the RV trip is, and is not, or will be, or won’t be, or something – just not right now.

January 29 – Hotel Ella in Austin, TX. RV was in shop getting LP leak fixed, and BMW had blown charge line fuse.

January 30-Feb2 – Fort Parker State Park in Mexia, TX (Meh-Hee-Ah). Canoed up Navasota River (13 mi) to Civil War Reunion Site. Hiked ~ 5 miles from dam. Excellent camp ground, very few campers. Threatened to rain lots, did not. Eagle, pelicans, many armadillo, sow and piglets

February 3-4 – Aggieland RV Park in Bryan, TX. Packed up apartment. Rained entire time.

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