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My Texas friend, Jack —

arrived to hike in Northern New Mexico

just four days after his angioplasty.

The docs placed ten stents in Jack’s arteries and told him it was okay for him to take “moderate” hikes, like “easy-does-it” hikes.

So where to hike that will help, rather than hinder, Jack’s recovery?

Since I know Jack likes history, that makes our choices real easy.

There is a very short quarter-mile easy romp up to the remains of an ancient kiva, I mean like a thousand-year-old ancient kiva.

No sweat.

Then what about a mile-long loop on virtually level ground through the sparse remains of this Anasazi Indian village, which was deserted a thousand years ago?

Terrific, both in its ease, as well as its interest.

The site has signs posted at regular intervals explaining the type of Anasazi activity that likely took place at each, and identifies trees, brush and artifacts along the path.

Jack was so fascinated he took the loop at a far faster clip than I usually walk.

As we finish this piece-of-cake walk, It’s near lunch time.

Jack has brought along enough for the two of us — flour tortillas, jalapeño pepper-Jack cheese and turkey for a Southwestern lunch, with Snickers bars and apple for desert.

I suggest another easy hike along a creek on an abandoned US Forest Service road where we are sure to find a good spot for lunch.


I make a wrong turn and we are on a different Forest Service road, that while too rocky and rutted for passenger cars, my Toyota Tacoma truck easily traverses.

Though this road is not abandoned, we see only one other vehicle on it, near the beginning.  And have it entirely to ourselves as we make our way farther and farther into the depths of a mixed conifer forest — pinyon and ponderosa pines, junipers and cedars, scrub oak and occasional stands of aspens.

I like Jack’s suggestion to take a place on the floor of the forest covered with pine needles and cones for our picnic lunch.

It couldn’t be more to my liking.

A spot created to induce lying back and watching time slip by.

Jack, of course, is up for more serious hiking.

So we lock the truck and meander a coupe of miles on foot along this deserted two-track that winds in and up and through the forest.

To spice it up, Jack discovers good-size mountain lion tracks (also called “cougar”).

So, in time, back to the truck and wend our way slowly back out the FS two-track to the highway.

So much for our afternoon therapeutic hike.

Nice day.

Thanks Jack.

I always enjoy any type of hike and 4WD exploration of the hundreds of miles of Forest Service roads that thread through the wilds up here in Northern New Mexico.

An Invitation to My Followers

I’m game to help other geezers who desire to get back into shape for hiking after heart issues.


You’ve had heart issues.

And you’d like to recuperate through hiking?

We could probably develop a good plan if we put our heads together.


You Too, Can Take Advantage of My Coaching

Depending on your condition and determination, I likely can coach you back into an avid hiker again.

Even if you’ve never hiked before, I may be able to coach you in how to ease yourself onto the trails.

I’ll guide you each step of the way.

We can do this by email exchanges — one-on-one.

All you need do to get started right now, right where you are is to send me an email from my Contact page. I will give you suggestions specific to your health condition and location.


OR —


Better Yet. You might want to come out here to Northern New Mexico

We have an abundance of hiking trails that attract people from all over the world.

I call our part of the world, a “Hiking Mecca.

The wide range of terrain gives us trails in canyons, high desert mesas, mountains and dense beautiful pine and juniper woodlands.

As with Jack, I can help you select trails appropriate to your physical condition, your health and the weather, for each day’s hike.

In about a week of hikes you could probably be in good enough physical condition and feel comfortable enough about your recovery to continue in a highly enjoyable way.


Hiking Information

Just let me know when you’ll arrive and I will do my best to meet you in town where we can talk about trails and their relative difficulty.

We can study trail maps and literature describing the trails in a private cubicle in the Chamber of Commerce’s Visitors facility.

The hiking opportunities are so wide and varied it is difficult for visitors to decide where to go, especially on a limited visit.

Trails are of various lengths and difficulty, offering scenic terrain, streams, lakes, Anasazi Indian ruins and petroglyphs.

But you will have to adjust your thinking to the higher altitude, as well as our monsoon season, which stretches across our most popular hiking — mid-June to mid-September.

The town of Taos is a mile-and-a-half above sea level. Almost all trails rise higher up into the mountains, on up to our 13,000-foot peaks.

The altitude causes difficulty breathing and a higher stress on your heart and lungs.  Hence, your health issues ought to be a special concern.

Also the weather, will make a huge difference in where you’ll find the best and most enjoyable hiking.


My Vast Experience

I’ve hiked here year-round for the past twenty-five years.

I’ve hiked the most remote, hidden trails little known to the public with forest rangers who’ve been managing these trails much longer than I’ve been hiking them.

But more than that.

I’ve been hiking since earliest childhood, on up thought my youth and adulthood.  And as I aged and dealt with my own health issues, including anginas, angioplasty, open-heart surgery, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a variety of other health issues.

I’ll steer you to the most enjoyable trails, according to your specific health requirements.

I’ve also had my own share of health issues and am still hiking daily in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern Nw Mexico.

You may know my name from my public persona.

I was the owner-founder of Backpacker magazine and it’s executive editor for many years. I am author of several books on hiking.  The most recent title is Backpacker & Hikers’ Handbook.

Should you decide to have my personal coaching, just let me know through the Contact Page on this website.


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One Response

  1. BackpackerBill
    | Reply

    Justus Bauschinger wrote on Facebook:

    While just in Germany & Poland, I decided that this trip will be done without any automobile(s)… Traffic that time of the year is hell anyway! So, took the trains almost wherever I went. But the best part of the trip, after almost croaking with congestive heart failure, was the walking. Stairs! (My pied-a-terre in Nuremberg is on the 4th floor with no lift). Takes 162 stairs down & up. A bitch when you’re schlepping cases of water and other heavy groceries, so you simply make several stair-climbs out of one shopping trip. But the best part was the WALKING. Can’t call it hiking. Even through the woods, and along the Baltic. Just putting one foot in front of the other, at whatever pace felt right. And I liked being alone, since that didn’t pressure others to go as slowly as I started out. Jeez, lost over 40 lbs, which makes the walk so much easier and pleasant. Smell the roses–or whatever! A total delight… And the beauty of Europe is that you’re usually in a village, and you step out of that boundary within a few blocks, and then you have the trails… Unca Bill is RIGHT: keep on trucking!

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