Warm weather sparks thoughts of outdoors

The recent, though probably not permanent, trend of warm weather turns one’s thoughts to outdoor activities. This is especially true when that trend is coupled with the garage cleaning — the connection being that all outdoor equipment is stored in one corner of the garage and I wanted to make sure that my two-person tent was intact and undamaged.

It has been, after all, a rather dull winter, with only one snow,and weather not cold enough to qualify as cold. I realize that most people are just fine with that, so I suppose I should not express my disappointment.

Onward and upward, as they say.

The princess who shares my life has promised me that, come September, she will participate in the TBI Center hike up Pike’s Peak. I’d planned to do that last fall, but on the day I would have left, we had the as-yet-unsolved theft of our car. So much for the fundraising hike. It will be more fun if we can do this together, anyway.

Training for that, as anybody over the age of thirty probably ought to train, involves hiking forays to several places that are themselves worth going to. One of Ruidoso’s 9,000 foot peaks served as a decent place to adjust to higher altitude, the last time I took this hike, and even the Caprock provides a rugged and steep one mile ascent that can be worked into a training regiment. The Barr’s trail up Pike’s Peak is not at all challenging terrain — it is very groomed — but certainly has a steep ascent.

Another place on my target list- though it’s actually farther away than Pike’s Peak, and one which I may not see this summer, is Cochise’s Stronghold in eastern Arizona. Last spring we were blessed with a chance to go to San Diego for spring break, though for the sad occasion of a family memorial, and drove through that area twice. It was with this in the back of my mind that I checked out my two man tent to make sure it was okay. I suppose I hope to go camping there.

For the not faint of heart (which I admit does not include me), an overnight spent in Lincoln might be included in warm weather plans. I have to be clear that I am not talking about the forest, but the actual town, when one takes the long way to Ruidoso. If you don’t know where it is, you can easily spot it by the fact that even going through it gives — well, me, at any rate — the shivers. I would camp there outside, for 500 dollars.

I would not stay in any of its buildings, for any price, after nightfall. Several weeks ago, this column also focused on the hiking possibilities inherent in sections of the Santa Fe Trail.With gas prices threatening to rise to the point where fuel will be a major consideration, places like the Ruidoso area, Santa Fe National Forest, Palo Duro, and some parts of the Santa Fe Trail, take on the added charm that they require no overnight lodging. When a tankful of gas may cost as much as a motel room, one can hardly plan on both. For me, of course, there is the pup tent, but the princess who shares my life prefers to end her away from home hikes in a mattressed bed.

Just writing about this gets me excited, and grateful that spring break may, if weather be fair, provide some chances to play in the outdoors.

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at:

clyde_davis@yahoo.com