Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Spring Hike- The Elliott Barker Trail

We decided to take Mosey on a hike last week. Mose is our beloved golden retriever who was diagnosed last December with cancer. In January the Radiologist gave him a prognosis of one to two months. The Oncologist said  "Who knows? He has a slow growing tumor. It could be months or even...if we are really lucky...a year or two." Six months in he is doing ok. The only symptom is heavy panting when he is a little bit winded due to the mass that surrounds his heart, lungs and esophagus. So we took it really easy the first few months...scared he was going to die any minute. Now we are taking more of a "bucket list" mentality. Making smart choices but finding activities that he loves and modifying to make it as easy as possible. Hiking is an example.

Mosey has always loved to go on hikes with us...but he just cannot do anything strenuous any more. So when we read about the Elliot Barker Trail in the Taos News a few weeks ago we knew we found a winner. As described by the paper:

"Climbing high above the Moreno Valley, the Elliott Barker Trail offers spectacular views of Angel Fire and Wheeler Peak. This system of trails was built through the cooperation of a citizen group from Angel Fire and the Carson National Forest. Connecting old logging roads and animal paths, the trails provide hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities through the ponderosa pine and aspen forest.
There are a variety of choices from the trailhead, which is located at approximately 8,500 feet, at the bottom of Palo Flechado Pass on US 64. For a short hike and a good picnic spot, continue from the trailhead straight ahead across the meadow and through the opening in the wooden fence. A small pond is visible just ahead."
Meadow? Short Hike? Picnic Spot?  Sold.  We went...We enjoyed...Mosey found the pond and two seconds later was happily swimming with a huge smile on his face. What a perfect day.

This is a beautiful hike. Late May delivered grass, wildflowers and warm temperatures. One day we will complete the entire hike (approximately 5 miles) to see more of the beautiful views. The article states:
"To continue higher, turn right and climb into the forest. There are aspen trees leafing in this section and signs of elk. Views of Angel Fire and the Moreno Valley open to your left and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is visible in the valley. Back over your shoulder are views of the Wheeler Peak ridge to the north. After a total of three miles from the start, the trail crosses the Bull Springs Meadows at 9,500 feet."

To read the complete article which includes the trail's history click here. And, whether you live here or plan to visit check out this beautiful hike. I sent these photos to my parents and my Dad said "Pine trees? Grass? Lots of green? This is not what I think of when I think of New Mexico. I think sage."  Well we do have lots of sage but this is Taos too. Everywhere you look it is beautiful. Hiking around Taos is the perfect way to enjoy the varied terrain.  Come and see for yourself.

The trailhead is located 19.6 miles east on Kit Carson (US 64) from Taos Plaza. Go over Palo Flechado Pass. At the bottom of the hill and after mile marker 274, turn right into the trailhead. To start out from the top of the pass, park near the Palo Flechado historic sign and cross the highway to enter the trail area.
My best,
May 30 , 2014

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