The plan was to meet Brian at the parking for the Santa Cruz Lake Dam at 6:45am. I was confused and drove up to the overlook on the south side instead. But I was OK with that.
Santa Cruz Lake from the south side overlook. Brian is over there on the north side. I drove around and met him a bit later than anticipated.
Google Earth view of the route. See http://connect.garmin.com/activity/81351094 for a better map
Our starting point in Santa Fe. It was Easter and the pilgrimage run was something that Brian had been wanting to do for a really long time. Typically, though, there's too much snow in the Santa Fe National Forest to allow for this route. Not this shitty snow year!
Contemplating our future. "Jesus, will we make it?"
We had to run a couple miles through the downtown area to access the Dale Ball Trails and be on our way.
Some cross-laden building just before we got on the Dale Ball Trails
And another one. The signs were everywhere!
We ran by this park. I'd never been there and don't know this area very well.
Just a mere three miles into it Brian was already trying to find an alternate way to Chimayo. I would have none of it.
Oh, sweet junction 20
We ran Dale Ball Trails to a short bit of shoulder running along Hyde Park before heading up the "Burn Trail"
Now I was digging this. Loads of cool singletrack. Mountain bikers would be stoked.
Chamiza [sic] was another fun trail that led us onto the Winsor Trail
Sweet running in a field along the old Borrego Trail just before reaching a forest service road
We paralleled the forest service road and took a short cut that worked out well. It was snowing on us at this point around 8,900'
Brian had staged a drop point for water and some gels for us at a trailhead along the way. Sorry I'm bad about the names of areas--this was new territory to me.
Endurolytes, amoxicillan and percocet. All set. A recent molar infection has left me in some pain but the antibiotics are helping and the pain killers are really helping.
This is the trailhead where we stashed some goods. Someone left a blue hat there. Sad.
Super sweet downhill singletrack towards Rio En Medio
Yeah, that's right, we went up.
Crossing the Rio Nambe at around mile 18, the approximate half-way point
At the Rio Capulin around mile 20 4.5 hours into it. This was a gorgeous river valley and the running was superb
We headed up the Capulin Trail for about half a mile before realizing that's not where we wanted to be. So we turned back.
Leaving Sante [sic] Fe NF and into Pecos Wilderness
Another crossing to get back on the Borrego Trail
This section of the Borrego Trail enters Pecos Wilderness and is lightly used. A lot of downed logs but not unbearable.
Spring is here!
Gnarlyness along the lightly used Borrego Trail
And to the Rio Frijoles! From here we'd run many miles down this valley into Cundiyo, NM.
The trail crosses the river a great many times. We had 21 "feet wet" crossings and many other crossings on logs
Just run fast and jump
A big wall
He made it
Really nice running in lower Rio Frijoles Canyon
Down at the mouth of the canyon. A fair bit of private property here but the road is legit
A frickin' white stallion
Whew! At highway 503 at about 29 miles. We didn't know how to proceed here since neither of us had been in this area before. We crossed the road and found a good light-use trail that headed towards the Santa Cruz Lake
We started on this trail but it was going the wrong way so we bushwacked up a ridge
And found yet another trail on the ridge
Now we're on the road to the lookout on the south side of the lake
There's my car! Just need to get there. It turned out to be pretty complicated.
A nice view back to the Sangres. We had bits of snow flurries and rain throughout the day but it felt good.
Running the trail down towards the lake. It would turn back the wrong way so we bushwacked down into a drainage instead.
In the drainage. We ran down to the lake's edge but found no trail around the lake. So back up a steep hillside we went...
Back up high and a good view of the dam
That's our first goal, though, Chimayo and the santuario de Chimayo
Success! 37 miles later and we rolled into the santuario around 5:15pm
We looked for the holy dirt but never found it so we headed back up towards the dam and my car
Nicely, others had done this same route before. I was impressed with the graffiti on the dam on account of the exposure
Hooray! Back at the car at 5:45pm. It was a really enjoyable and tough 38 miles with 7,000' vert climbing.
Oh, and this run had some killer shirts thanks to Brian's mom's embroidery
I even knew which shirt was mine