|La Piedra Trail - Descending the zipline|
Santa Fe Conservation Trust, its executive director Charlie O'Leary, and the SFCT's volunteer affiliate the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe. Funding came in from local contributors (you can be one too!), proceeds from the Banff Film Festival screenings this spring, as well as proceeds from the La Tierra Torture bike races. Charlie mentioned that a five-figure grant came in from a California Foundation whose trustee held fond memories of running in the hills above Santa Fe, which is awesome. The Trust was founded in 1993 by conservationist scion Stewart Udall, and is primarily responsible for negotiating the public easements and legal work required in setting aside privately owned land parcels for non-developed use in perpetuity. SFCT negotiated public/private easements for the initial construction of the Dale Ball Trails in the 90's, early improvements to the Rail Trail, as well as development of the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, the Cerrillos Hills Preserve, La Tierra Trails, and most recently - the Galisteo Basin Preserve.
|My crew from the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe. At far left are Lynn and Charlie.|
|Some instruction on how to use our lobotomizers for good, not evil|
|On the trek in - making trail sons!|
The land parcel is limited in size, and as designed the Connector has a lot of tight, technical switchbacks in a steep descent down into the Little Tesuque drainage east of Bishop's Lodge. Thirty-three switchbacks by my count including a few more in the climb preceding the descent. A group of us ran it out the day after our trail maintenance work and it was fantastic. A terrific addition to the growing trail network.
|Out with friends the day after - crushing the switchbacks|
|And down, and down, and further still - down|
|Blue blazes trace the way up the Burn Trail|
|At the fence-line to Winsor and beyond|
|At the Juan Trail/Burn Trail highpoint - Tesuque Peak in view|
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