Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not Seen on Treadmills - Shepard Fairey Edition

Been on the lookout for this since February. Stencil tags by street artist Shepard Fairey, spotted this weekend outside the Santa Fe Public Library on Washington Ave.

Public deviance - ftw

Much more on Fairey and his work at

Friday, July 19, 2013

Museum Hill Trails Come Alive

Just a small party with the master artisans of the world
Santa Fe was decked out in papel picado for last week's International Folk Art Market. This event has blown up over the last few years and is legitimately beginning to punch above its weight. Event organizers filled Railyard Park on Thursday evening with a free concert, and seemingly all of the town's restaurants and patios were packed full Thur-Sat evenings. Indian and Spanish Market peeps where all like, WHA? Dudes were bringing the noise.

Right, well Museum Hill is where a significant amount of my early morning running/biking routes cross through so I got to see the tents going up during the week, the excited market vendors waiting for opening on Saturday morning, then the full on Market by foot later in the day with the beautiful Mrs. Dirt and the button-cute little Pistol. A lot of excitement springing up out of my ordinarily quiet trail network in the east foothills. What made my day is that some ingenious soul dreamt up an onsite Bike Valet station which happened to be packed full of bikes of all sorts, including ones with toddler-seats and trailer hitches. Marvelous.

Bike Valet
Decoraciones fiestas
My favorite: the Oaxacan weavers of southern Mexico. There stuff was simply off the charts. Across the parking lot, sitting on the rim of the Arroyo de los Pinos is the brand spanking new Santa Fe Botanical Gardens which has its grand opening to the public this weekend. I run by there on a near weekly basis and have been witness to the slow determined progress of workers fashioning barren New Mexican clay and sand into a space of brilliant color and understated beauty. And what was once old, is new again.

Santa Fe Botanical Gardens
The re-purposed and remodeled span of the Kearney Gap Bridge - Sun Mountain top left
Related Posts:
  - Santa Fe's Arroyo Systems
  - Museum Hill by Bike
  - Picacho Peak
  - Sun Mountain Trail

View Museum Hill Foot Trails - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fire Closures to be Lifted in Santa Fe

Managers for the Santa Fe National Forest are announcing that the recent trail and forest closures are to be lifted Friday morning at 800am, and fire restrictions in the area are to be eased back to Stage I.

Closures still in effect include areas of the Pecos Wilderness affected by both the Jaroso and Tres Lagunas fires. The Cibola forest districts are also announcing the end of current access closures.

Related Posts:
 - Santa Fe Forest Closures (June 24)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Climbing the Ladder on Picacho Peak

The pointy cap of Picacho
Picacho is one of two high trails remaining open during the current trail closures, the other being Atalaya. I can confirm this since a friend and I were out in the foothills early Saturday morning sewing up the switchbacks. And there are a lot of them.

Looking faded on the top
Picacho is the notable highpoint just to the north of Atalaya. It's got a ripper of a name and a distinctive silhouette, but it's also crazy steep. It's steep character does make for less crowded trails and some mighty fine view points. Unlike Atalaya to the south, Picacho offers more exposure along the climb. No ponderosa canopies or sheltered flat sections. So the views are tremendous if you're not hard-charging for a rest on top. Views down into the Santa Fe Watershed are especially lovely and dramatic. 

Right, so I hadn't been up this way in a while and we like to add variety to our outings so off (and up) we went. I don't run Picacho much and here's why:  It's steep as hell and it's an out-and-back. Two miles of un-relenting climbing above Santa Fe Canyon, followed by two miles of steep descent. Great views of Atalaya though, and if you have the time you can link them both up (think Dale Ball Buster). You may be training for a hill climb - say, La Luz - in which case the trail up Picacho is is tailor made just for you. If this is in fact the case, know that you can tack on an extra 2+ miles and 400ft of climbing by starting your run at the Upper Canyon Rd/Cerro Gordo Trailhead (think Dale Ball Buster). The direct ascent from Upper Canyon is the longest steepest percentage grade trail climb in Santa Fe.

Tough going, but open and accessible unlike many of our surrounding trails. Out and back on our route mapped below is just four miles (28min climb, 23min descent). Several variations are available at mapped junctions.

The north Atalaya ridge to the east, summit at right

Atalaya Peak looking south

Picacho summit stones with the Santa Fe Watershed at middle and the Sangres in the distance

Picacho:  Spanish for 'top, or summit; sharp point of anything'
Distance: 4mi roundtrip
Elevation at Upper Atalaya trailhead: 7450ft
Picacho Summit: 8577ft

View Picacho Peak - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map


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