Upcoming Hike – Jemez Hike – May 12th

Hello UU hikers and friends,

On Sat, May 12 Tom Dorr will lead a 4 mile In/Out hike from Battleship Rock to McCauley Hot Springs and back in the Jemez Mountains. First part of hike is uphill.  Second part is downhill.

Battleship Rock (Jemez Springs, NM): Top Tips Before You Go – TripAdvisor

Meet at the South parking lot of First U near ARC at 9:30 am. As usual bring lunch, water, snacks, your own personal first aid kit, wear a hat, hiking shoes or boots and dress appropriately for the weather. Hiking poles are recommended. If you want to go into the hot springs bring a bathing suit.  Camera and binoculars optional.

It is a 65 mile drive to the trailhead which takes an hour and a half from the church and passes through the Jemez Pueblo, so please make no afternoon plans.  Group will be back to First U between 3:30-4:30 pm.

No dogs allowed.

Highlights of the hike include huge obsidian boulders and views down on Battleship Rock and East Fork of Jemez River gorge.  The black glass, obsidian boulders are the result of fast cooling lava from volcanic action.

The minimum elevation is 6780′ with 753 elevation gain and 930′ total uphill and 930′ total downhill.

Please RSVP only if you will be participating by Thurs, May 10. Phone or email if you have questions. Thanks.

Kathleen Rhoad 505 225-9747


Sierra Club Outings, April to June 2018

Saturday, March 31, moderate shuttle hike to Cerro Grande and the Valle trail, 6 miles, 1,200 feet elevation gain. Alan Shapiro, nm5s@yahoo.com, 505-424-9242.

Sunday, April 8, moderate off-trail hike to Tetilla Peak, short route of less than 4 miles with about 800 ft. of elevation. Alan Shapiro, nm5s@yahoo.com, 505-424-9242.

Saturday, April 14, Meet 10 am on the sidewalk just west of the Paseo del Bosque trail’s entrance to the Rio Grande Nature Center and the Albuquerque Riverside Drain. This is a ‘Bosquitos’ outing geared for ages 8 and up (although everybody is invited), to learn about the Rio Grande and River Engineering with a civil/environmental engineer, Aubrey Harris, who works with the river analysis group for the US Bureau of Reclamation, an agency responsible for managing water. Topics will include water issues of the Rio Grande, human-made features along the river which interact with the Rio’s sediment and water conveyance; and also how engineering and natural systems distribute sediment and water to create habitat for endangered species. For special assistance, call/text Sarita Streng 505-288-8713.

Saturday, April 21, moderate shuttle hike up the Burn trail, across and up the Saddleback trail, then down the Chamisa trail; 4 5 miles with about 1,000 feet elevation gain. Alan Shapiro, nm5s@yahoo.com, 505-424-9242.

Sunday, April 22, Celebrate Earth Day with the Ancients, sponsored by the Sierra Club Military Outdoors Program and everyone is welcome. Join us at 9:00 AM for a hike of the Mesa Prieta Trail to explore the south escarpment of Petroglyph National Monument and see a number of ancient petroglyphs. Hike is approximately 4 miles RT with 300 feet of elevation gain. Contact Terry Owen, 505-301-4349, teowen@q.com by April 20th to RSVP, obtain details and the meet-up location.

Sunday, April 22, (Earth Day), moderate loop: about 3 miles, North on Ellis, Back on Crest Trails. Meet at 10:30 on the east side of the Smith Parking lot, close to Central and I-40. Three dogs on leash OK. End with optional potluck at Odile and Jim’s house. Contact Odile by April 21, 505-433-4692, or Odile@pitot.org, specify: (1) cell-phone number; (2) if coming to the potluck; and (3) where you can meet the group.

Saturday, April 28, Moderate hike, Tent Rocks. No dogs allowed. Meet at 10:00 on the north side of the Target Parking lot at the corner of I-25 and Paseo del Norte. End with optional potluck at Odile and Jim’s house. Contact Odile by April 27, h: 505-433-4692, or Odile@pitot.org, specify: (1) cell-phone number; (2) if coming to the potluck; and (3) where you can meet the group.

Saturday, April 28 to Sunday April 29: Strenuous overnight backpack trip in Bandelier National Monument; about 22 miles starting and ending at the Visitor Center, with 4100 ft. of elevation change. We will camp in Capulin Canyon, near the Painted Cave. Larry, lorenz.hughes@gmail.com, 505 983 8296.

Saturday, May 5, moderate hike along the Continental Divide Trail, about 10 miles round trip with 1,800 feet of elevation gain. Hiking up from the Skull Bridge over the Rio Chama to the top of Mesa de los Viejos. Alan Shapiro, nm5s@yahoo.com, 505-424-9242.

Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m., ‘walk with Margaret and Julie’, easy paced, 2-hour. Meet at the parking lot adjacent to the tree sculpture garden, immediately south of the Montano Bridge, west side of the river. We’ll head south toward the Oxbow and then east toward the river. Contact Margaret, mardel18@aol.com for information.

Saturday, May 19, strenuous four peaks hike from the Aspen Vista parking lot. We will start hiking up the Aspen Vista Road to the Tesuque Creek trail up to Tesuque Peak, continue on to Deception Lake and Penitente. Return via Puerto Nambe and the Winsor trail. About 14 miles and 3,300 foot elevation change. Two or three dogs OK. Larry, lorenz.hughes@gmail.com, 505 983 8296.

Sunday, May 20, Osso Corredor to Sulfur Canyon Trails, easy hike (about 2 miles, mostly downhill but slippery and steep at times). We will leave a car at the Sulfur TH. Meet at 10:30 on the East side of the Smith Parking lot, close to Central and I-40. Three dogs on leash OK. Contact Odile by May 19, h: 505-433-4692, or Odile@pitot.org. Please specify: (1) cell-phone number; (2) if coming to the potluck; and (3) where you can meet the group.

Saturday, June 2, strenuous hike to Thompson Peak. We will follow the Apache Canyon route to Glorieta Baldy and then continue north for about 2 miles to Thompson Peak. About 17 miles with 3900 ft. of elevation gain. Two or three dogs OK. Larry, lorenz.hughes@gmail.com, 505 983 8296.

Saturday, June 23, Colorado 14’er Hike and Camp; join the Sierra Club Military Outdoors Program as we embark on a hike of Mt. Elbert. This is Colorado’s highest peak and the second highest peak in the lower 48 at 14,433 feet. We’ll climb on Saturday, June 23 with optional camping the night before and after. This is a challenging, high altitude hike of approximately 10 miles RT and 4,400 vertical feet of climbing in a span of 8 hours. Participants must be in good physical condition. Veterans, active duty, military families and all others are welcome to join us. RSVP to Terry Owen, 505-301-4349, teowen@q.com NLT June 19 and obtain camping location, hike details and the recommended gear list.

Upcoming Special Hike – Golden Open Space (Los Duendes Trail) – March 27th

Hello First U hikers and friends,

We have added a second weekday hike for March.

On Tues, March 27 Tom Dorr will lead a hike in the Golden Open Space, Sandia Mountain East, Sandia Park Golden Open Space (Los Duendes Trail).  Elevation is about 6,400′.

Golden Open Space (Los Duendes Trail)The main trail is an easy loop trail of about 3 miles but there are several other trails off of this one that allows for several more miles of hiking. The other rou…

We will follow the bike trail to the end of the Open Space Boundary above San Pedro Creek and Arroyo Seco and explore a side canyon and rock formations. We will return on the bike path to the trailhead.  Difficulty moderate.

Meet at 9 am in the south parking lot near ARC at First Unitarian to arrange carpooling.  As usual bring water, snacks,  lunch, your own personal first aid kit, wear a hat and walking shoes or boots. Bring walking pole/s, binoculars, camera as desired.

Please RSVP only if you will be participating by Sun, March 25.  No dogs.  Phone or email if you have questions.  Thanks.

Kathleen Rhoad 225-9747 c

Upcoming Hike – Walking Tour of Nob Hill & the UNM Campus – March 10th

Hello First U hikers and friends,

On Sat, March 10 there will be a walking tour of Nob Hill & the UNM campus highlighting history, architecture, and public art, lead by Pam Bliss.

This is a 4-mile urban hike. Most of the walk will be on pavement. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat. Dress for the weather and bring water, sunscreen, and, if you like, a snack to eat on the way and money for lunch.

The walk begins near the corner of Silver and Hermosa, 1½ blocks east of Carlisle and one block south of Central. Participants can meet at 9:00 am at First Unitarian, south parking lot near ARC to carpool or meet the group at the starting point. Please let Kathleen know which you will do.

The hike encompasses two interesting areas of Albuquerque. Brief commentary will be given at many of the stopping points, and brochures will be handed out. In the Nob Hill section, we’ll compare several characteristic architectural styles of residences as well as historic churches and commercial areas. On the UNM campus, we’ll view some of the iconic original buildings, take note of many public sculptures, and rest at the Duck Pond. We’ll return via Central Avenue (Route 66), to see how old and new have developed into the eclectic mix of today’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Lunch will be at Crepe, Crepe at 3718 Central Ave, near our starting point.

Please RSVP to Kathleen only if you will be participating by Thurs, March 8.  This is a new destination in urban Albuquerque that we hope some of you will like.  And please let me know where you will be meeting the group.  Thanks.

Kathleen Rhoad 225-9747c

Canyon Trail, Bosque del Apache – February 10, 2018

On February 10 we had a wonderful day at Bosque del Apache with a small group of UU hikers: Kathleen Rhoad, leader, Ken Callahan, Virginia Burris, Amy Carpenter, Phyllis Bergman and Gary Donnermeyer.  We drove through the refuge and saw 2 Bald Eagles, 2 Kestrels, hundreds of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese, Pin-tail ducks, Coots, Wild Turkeys. Plus a Mule Deer, a buck.
We hiked the 2.2 mile Canyon National Recreation Trail which starts in Solitude Canyon and climbs to a mesa top with an excellent refuge-encompassed vista.  There is a guide at the trailhead that corresponds to 24 numbered posts along the way.  It describes arroyos, Four-wing Saltbush, “Game trails”, etc and of special interest to us, a canyon wall of holes made by mining bees, Macrotera opuntiae.  The tunnels go about 4″ into the rock and several entrances can connect into a network of tunnels with larger chambers, visible when the wall sloughs away.  The bees are believed to gather pollen exclusively from prickly pear blossoms.

The hour and a half hike had perfect light just before sunset.   This is one of the most interesting and scenic trails we have hiked.

Finally, we drove to a small lake on our way out of the refuge on time to see some Sandhill Cranes flying in about 5:45 pm.

Upcoming Hike – Canyon Trail, Bosque del Apache – February 10th

Hello UU hikers and friends.

On Sat, Feb 10 Kathleen Rhoad will lead a hike on the Canyon Trail in Bosque del Apache (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bosque_del_apache/).  The refuge is 90 miles from the church down I-25 and is about a 90 minute drive.  As usual, dress for the weather including hiking shoes or boots, hat; bring water, snacks, personal First Aid kit, small plastic bag for packing out trash, binoculars, camera.  There are lots of birds in the refuge.  No dogs.

Canyon National Recreation Trail 
(2.2 miles)

This trail takes visitors through native Chihuahuan desert and into Solitude Canyon, a deep ravine carved into sandstone by flash floods over the ages. Scenic vistas of the canyon and the refuge are favorite photo opportunities. The abundance of burrows, holes, nests, and middens gives evidence to the snakes, lizards, birds, bats, rabbits, kangaroo rats, and other desert wildlife that are active along the trail, especially in the cooler morning and evening hours. This trail loops through the southern edge of the Indian Well Wilderness Unit.

Meet at the South Parking lot of First Unitarian near ARC at 10:45 am.  Bring your lunch or eat an early lunch at home.  We are starting later than usual so we can stay in the refuge to see the Sandhill Cranes fly in at dusk.  The refuge reports that the Sandhill Cranes are there until Feb 14.  We’ll get to the observation deck at the pond about 4:30 pm and watch the cranes for an hour or so. When we first arrive at the refuge we’ll go into the Visitor’s Center and take a drive through the refuge to see birds. Then we’ll hike the Canyon Trail, an easy hike lasting about 90 minutes.

Optional supper enroute home at the the Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio San Antonio Owl.

Please RSVP with your cell phone # by Thurs, Feb 8 only if you will be participating.  Phone or email if you have questions.

Thanks.  Kathleen Rhoad 225-9747 c

Valle de Oro NWR – January 13, 2018

Hello all,

We had a big group of 18 for the Valle de Oro hike.  For most it was their first visit to this relatively new wildlife refuge in the South Valley. Tom Dorr was the leader and the hike started in the bosque with a good look at the Rio Grande.  Then we walked on the road by the levee.  We saw many, many Canada Geese, Sandhill Cranes, a Flicker, Kestrel, a Great Blue Heron and a Bald Eagle soaring above us. Tom really liked seeing an eagle again as he had seen one a few days earlier.

The participants were: Linda Morey and son, Ian, Sally Vance, Jonathan Stein, Priscilla Remke, Judy Bentley, Mick Porter & Jodell Bullock, Sue Spaven, Pam Bliss, Dawn Leach, Kathy Kwait, Neal MacDonald, Camilla Haneberg, Nancy Bowen, Kathleen Rhoad, Carolyn Riggs and Tom Dorr.

FYI:  The refuge has “Breakfast & Birding” the third Sat of the month at 7:30 am.  Friends of the refuge provide breakfast.  No RSVP’s required.  Just show up.

Kathleen Rhoad