|Little Tesuque Creek - dry and sad|
The first section rolls down alongside Little Tesuque Creek. The pathetic little creek bed was dry as a bone even after the heavy rains from the day before. I'd never seen it dry before and I stopped to take a photo because it seemed so extraordinary. After a pleasant warm up, the trail climbs a shelf to the left with some fun rollers and runnable switchbacks. I find this section to be especially fun in snow.
There is a plan in operation right now to run a connector trail from North Dale Ball down to this point. The Santa Fe Conservation Trust recently secured the necessary property easements and have all the planning in place. If I remember correctly it will be named the La Piedra connector (updated here), tying together the Dale Ball Trail network with the Winsor Trail system, which will be sweeeeeet.
|In the event of gun fire, the correct route is left|
Above Bishop's Lodge you hop on the Green-Dot heading east. There used to be a great Red-Dot loop that climbed the ridge just to the west with views of the Jemez and Espanola Valley. Somebody recently built a road up that ridge and the trail is mostly retired now. Fortunately the trail has been replaced by the nearby Orange-Dot trail which is a great add-on to the Little Tesuque loop. All of these Dot Trails are built and maintained by the Lodge for guests and horse riding, so yield to horses should you see any. As far as I know the trails are unmapped. They get torn up in places by the horses, but they also wouldn't exist without the horses and the work of the crew at the Lodge, and they seem nice enough to let dirtbags like myself run around on them so God bless 'em.
|Green Dot Trail, from the top of Bauer Rd.|
Green-Dot/Blue-Dot will take you east to the summit of some large hills. Steep climbing for 1.5mi. On this day I ran into a lightning storm typhoon on my way up Green-Dot. I don't care for lightning but I had no good options from where I was at so I just carried on up the hill which quickly became a fast flowing creek. First the trail was a creek, but then everything became a creek. In places there were sheets of water cascading down the hill to my left or right, across the trail, and continuing down the side. A few times my trail-creek merged with an adjoining trail-creek at a confluence, which made for lots of fun splashing through the ford. Shin deep footfalls in some places and the sound of water everywhere. Suck on that you dry bastard summer.
|5min later - Trail becomes creek|
Back at Little Tesuque Creek I found a raging torrent of brown muddy water. Crazy flood where 75min ago there was only dust and rock. My camera-phone was no longer working because it was dripping wet, so no cool photos. Back on Hyde Park Rd, there was actual rock-fall tumbling into the road from the wet hillsides. Yikes.
|Beautiful wife, plus beer, plus culture|
- Apache Canyon Trail
- Santa Fe's Arroyo Systems
- Chamisa Trail
View Little Tesuque Loop in a larger map