Wednesday, December 10, 2014

End of Year Charitable Giving to Area Outdoor Organizations

SFCT and the Trails Alliance - Since 1993
Several of the organizations that take care of our area trails and around northern New Mexico are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, meaning, that if you're looking for a few end-of-year tax deductions (or are just feeling generous) you ought to consider sending a few $$$ their way before end-of-day on the 31st.

The two organizations that (far and away) provide the most improvements and volunteer days on our trails are The Santa Fe Trails Alliance (the volunteer arm of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust), and The Santa Fe Fat Tire Society. Both terrific groups that could use a Saturday of your time as well as your financial support. In a joint effort this summer, these two groups along with the Santa Fe National Forest installed at least five new bridges along the Winsor Creek. If you've used a trail in the Santa Fe area over the last 20 years, The Conservation Trust is who you want to give thanks and appreciation.

SFFTS - Since 2011
As far as the running community and support for running programs and events in and around Santa Fe, the most active organizations are the Santa Fe Striders, Girls on the Run, and WINGS of America. Most of the overflow revenue generated by the Striders is directed to the latter two organizations so you might consider just contributing to them directly.

The Santa Fe Watershed Association has taken an active role in beautifying the Santa Fe River and in turn the Santa Fe River Trail which now includes several miles of trail with more planned for next year.

The Southwest Nordic Ski Club is the engine that powers nordic skiing opportunities in the state. Most of their work goes into grooming and maintaining the track up at Pajarito. They also promote and help organize large events including the Chama Chile Ski Classic, the Mt. Taylor Quad, and various events at Enchanted Forest.

Most (All??) of these organizations are setup to accept funds electronically via the links below. I'm certain they accept checks by mail or in person too. Give them a boost and do your part to support the outdoors in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico:

  - Santa Fe Girls on the Run
  - Santa Fe Trails Alliance and the Santa Fe Conservation Trust
       (also supported by the Banff Film Festival; La Tierra Torture, XTERRA Glorieta, 2nd Street Brewery)
  - Santa Fe Fat Tire Society (via membership)
  - WINGS of America
  - Santa Fe Watershed Association (manages the SF River Greenway)
  - Southwest Nordic Ski Club (nordic ski trails in Los Alamos)
  - The Santa Fe Striders (via the button below)

Related Posts:
 - Drink Beer - Support Local Trails (and the SFCT)
 - Local Trail Improvement Updates - New Tab!
 - Trail Improvements to Winsor and Galisteo Basin

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adventure on the Winsor Trail

Winsor Meadows
Had an interesting outing on the mountain bike this summer. Up at the crack of dawn with the plan of motoring up Winsor for the first time this year. Arrived at the Chamisa trailhead, rockin’ some Aerosmith (great band or best band?)*, when it became clear that a key piece of equipment didn't make the trip - my mtb shoes. Generally speaking, this wouldn't be a huge deal if I had been wearing shoes of some other type, however this was not the case. No, I had left the house wearing flip-flops for some strange reason. Effin’ flip-flops. FLIP-FLOPPPSSS!! [KAHHHNN!!] Desperation and denial stabbed at my mind just then: Can there be any imagined scenario in which Aerosmith wears flip-flops? No. fuck no. Not one. Well, there’s a lesson there. 

This is how this works - I have a sleeping 2yr old at home, so I have a short window at the break of dawn to run/ride/(ski sometimes) or, with searing remorse and regret I can rollover and go back to sleep. This being the case, driving back into town to get my shoes meant no long workout and probably no ride till the following weekend. An hour of running would have to replace cycling the Winsor as option A, and my mind that day was not calibrated toward running it was geared-up for cruising in the mountains on the summer’s first ride along the creek up the Winsor. 

So this happened…  >>>
There is literally a skull on my sock and a bell on my handlebars

Can’t possibly be the first time this has ever happened to someone heading out for a ride, am I right? This must happen all the time! How do folks generally resolve this kind of problem do you suppose? I reasoned that they probably just hope for the best, ignore the discomfort of missing gear, and ride - very carefully keeping an eye on toe-crushing rocks and tree branches. A very real danger that I'd simply never considered since it would otherwise be reckless to ride Chamisa/Winsor in open-toed shoes. (Sidenote: I have biked around at a party shoeless before. This is such a bad idea. I cannot caution strenuously enough how this should not be tried). 

Below Pacheco Canyon
Back to the current shady cycling story...Aside from potentially seriously injuring myself, my secondary concern was the possible embarrassment of seeing people see me riding along like a jagger in socks and flip-flops. Not a real danger, I calculated. Nobody’s going to be out this early on the middle stretches of Winsor. Wrong. I saw 23 people that morning [KAHHHNN!!]. 15 cyclists, 6 hikers including a woman who stopped me to ask me if there was water up-trail for her dog, and 2 runners. I’m certain of this figure because I counted each one, my face screwed-up in a sideways cringe of awkwardness at each addition. 

It all worked out for me in the end, although I couldn't handle the steep climbing that leads up to NORSKI. I did see two ptarmigan (grouse) in one section, got too excited then veered off trail crashing into some bushes. There were also a few slips in technical sections where I pedaled out of my flop and had to avoid the pedal-whip-into-the-shin hazard. A very acceptable level of harm, all things considered. And it all makes for a good story as well as an important takeaway to share with others - that a cavalier attitude toward footwear has the ability to ruin your entire week. You’re welcome.

Old crossing at Bear Wallow, now much improved
Guerrilla-built drop above Pacheco. Since removed by the NFS
Firecracker penstemon
* I kid, i kid. Zeppelin will always be the best band, Halen a distant second.

Related Posts:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Gunning for a Big December

Dorothy Stewart Trail and the Sangres in morning light
Strava tells me that my running mileage for the year is at a disappointing 409mi. The good news is that I have five weeks to adjust this total. I've come up just short of 500mi in both of the last two years. This is humiliating enough to admit without adding a third year and 50% more failure to the total. Gotta bring it home with 20mi weeks in December. A pathetic goal but every journey begins with the first step.

Mini-Dirt running with Waltz and

I opted toward a long mtb ride yesterday morning rather than the annual Turkey Trot, but later I brought the little one out to the race (Atalaya) thinking he'd enjoy all the activity. Well, mini-me went crazy with the running. I'd peg his morning running at close to 2mi in random loops, back-and-forths, and roughly half of the Kids 1K race. He got away from me once so that he could run through the finishing chute. He got away from me a second time which prompted an abrupt announcement to my friends, "Shit, I lost the 2-year old". I found him though. He was running. The little fella actually cried later on our walk to the truck because 'I wouldn't let him run'.

Related Posts:
 - Mileage: How Much is Not Enough
 - Year in Review 2010

Friday, November 21, 2014

Trading the Downhill Skis for Nordic

Setting down tracks in Pagosa
The nordic/cross-country ski scene in New Mexico is not well established. Trails are sparse, the knowledge base is sparse, ski partners are few. For these reasons there's a frustrating dynamic in that decent and affordable used gear is simply not available for a newbie looking for an inexpensive entry to the trails. Alpine Sports or NM Bike N' Sport are great places to pickup a nice starter nordic setup for $400 and up, but there aren't many that will make this leap when you can flip that same coin for a seasons pass at the local mountain. A serious economic barrier to entry.

There is however one fine resource in town to bridge this cost/knowledge gap - Mr. Kelly Kellstedt. A one man outdoors shop with loads of used gear, personal tech services to swap out bindings or boot pairings, and the occasional buyer for un-used equipment laying around in storage. If you've ever browsed the nordic selection at the annual Santa Fe Ski Swap, Kelly's the guy selling 90% of what's available. He's an annual fixture there and he'll gladly talk you up and give you one of his cards because selling directly is better business than working the Swap. The man's also got a wealth of stories about river trips and general adventuring. I've prodded him in hopes of learning of unknown 'secret spots' in the backcountry. He offered several superlatives for the Colorado River. Not so secret, but hard to disagree with.

I think this season is going to have solid snow cover up here in the sierra norte, and I think I'll be out on my skinny boards quite a bit. I think other outdoorsy types want to be out there too if only they had the beta to make it work. I think this will help.

Related Posts:
 - Cross Country Skiing Santa Fe
 - Enchanted Forest Ski Trails
 - Ski Season Cometh - Santa Fe Ski Swap
 - Area Nordic Trails Listing

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ski Season Cometh - Santa Fe Ski Swap

New terrain at Taos Ski Valley
Stopped by the ski swap this morning. I love the swap if only just to get fired-up for the coming winter wonderland. Chatted with friends, mostly loads of unsupported speculation on this season’s snow estimates; quick conversations about yurt trips and Colorado trips that may not happen and general super-psychedness… Good stuff. Picked up a helmet for the two year old. He now looks like a two year old astronaut. His helmet already flashing a fresh new decal for Crested Butte. The ambition appears to be high with that one.

Lots of New Mexico ski news this off-season including new lifts at Wolf Creek and Taos (Kachina Ridge!), and the change of ownership at Purgatory which was bought by the ownership group that owns/manages Sipapu, Pajarito, and Sunbowl in AZ. Their marketing team was at the swap giving out vouchers for a free day at Sipapu in exchange for email and contact info. SOLD! Worth the price of admission.

Also scooped up something called the New Mexico Extreme Ski Card. It offers buy-one-get-one lift passes at Taos, Pajarito, Sipapu, Angel Fire, Purg, Crested Butte, and a free pass at Enchanted Forest, all for $89. A spot-on deal for a guy that can only get out for a few days of downhill each season and likes to hit the xc trails. Plus, the card’s transferable to my dirtbag friends. SOLD!

Related Posts:
- Taos Ski Valley Bought up by Wall St. Financier
- Colorado Yurt Trip - Neff Mountain
- New Mexico Ski Season Arrives Early (2013)


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