The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Elevator Shaft

Pecos Wilderness Trail by allistair
Pecos Wilderness Trail a photo by allistair on Flickr.

The Pecos Wilderness is a huge swath of protected wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains which extends down pretty close to Santa Fe. Reaching some of the trails in the southern edge of it from Santa Fe is easy, and I once took a hike with a few St. John's College friends there when I was living in Santa Fe. It was a nice pleasant walk down into a beautiful meadow called "La Vega" with gorgeous scenery. After the meadow we followed the Lower Nambe Trail, which seemed like a good choice since it led us directly back to the trailhead. Unfortunately, what we didn't know is that most hikers usually don't climb out of the valley on this trail. The path we took back is referred to as the "elevator shaft," because it's just nonstop straight up (an 1800 foot ascent in 1.8 miles according to what I read elsewhere). While walking on this trail it's hard to see too far ahead because you're in the middle of woods, so you have no idea how much further it could be, and every time you see another ridge, you're thinking "this has to be the last ridge; this trail can't keep going straight up like this," and then you find out you're wrong. All of us were dead tired by the end of it, and none of us were exactly lazy slouches. This picture was taken near the beginning of the elevator shaft.

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