We have 613 miles of trails in our Carson National Forest, most of which are within a few minutes drive of my front door.
Virtually all are only a little over an hour away.
And these trails range in difficulty from a walk around the block to a strenuous mountaineering feat.
Today I took the “walk around the block” hike. It is just one mile long, with literally no elevation gain.
The trail is a hidden treasure that only a few local hikers even bother to know about.
Okay, well why would I want to hike such a wussy trail on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning?
1. The most important reason. To get back into shape, even if it is primarily psychological.
I was in the hospital for three days last week. Turned out to be a relatively moderate problem and not the heart as I suspected when I checked in.
But I haven’t hiked for a full week. And that’s the real problem.
It’s hard to imagine I could get so out of shape in such a short time!
But, that’s age! And it does have its cunning ways!
2. The second reason is the psychological component, “I really don’t feel like a hike.”
So fortunately, my wife Joy, says, “Why don’t we do an easy hike, say over in Amole?”
Okay, so so reluctantly I lace my boots and we head on over towards it.
En route, though, she makes another suggestion, “If there are no cars at Pot Creek, why don’t we do just that trail?”
Sounds even better, for I know it’s only a one-mile stroll around the loop, more like a walk in the park.
We were surprised that there weren’t any cars. So we parked and headed on in.
Clearly the Forest Service has been hard at work on a major restoration of the area.
There are heavy earth-moving equipment units, piles of fine stone gravel in the parking area, as well as piles of rotted debris that had been removed from the site.
Being Sunday, there were no workers on the site itself, leaving it entirely to ourselves.
This short little loop is signed with descriptive plaques about the ancient dwellers of this historic site, dating back at least 1,000 years.
There are the remains of a kiva, the underground sacramonial room where the Anasazi dwellers passed along their tribe’s secret tradition to their sons.
Also the remains of an adobe building that have given way to ravages of time.
This is where our puppy, Stanzi, took her first genuine hike, in the snow, last winter.
We allow her unleashed freedom to explore as she wishes. We’ve already trained her to stick to the trail, leashed or unleashed, which she thoroughly enjoys.
I am amazed at how I struggle on this short, relatively level, trail, after just a week without hiking!
3. To regain motivation, at the end of the loop, we decide to return the mile back around.
And I handle that with considerably more ease.
I resolve to myself one more, “Hike every day, whether I feel like it or not!”