Cibola National Forest

This weekend, we spent a little time hiking around the Cibola National Forest.

We started out by spending Saturday night in Water Canyon. We didn’t bring a tent, but the weather was excellent, so we unrolled a sleeping bag and slept in the bed of the truck. We fit, if we drop the tailgate, as the Ranger with a tool box and the tailgate down is just enough room to stretch out.

It was a chilly night, though not unbearable. My alarm went off at 6, as I had forgotten to remove that phone alarm for this weekend. It was especially chilly at that hour, so after an hour of shivering, I decided to go for a morning stroll. I started up Trail #13, but did not go but a few hundred yards. It was a nice trail, I just didn’t want JoAnna to think I’d wandered off too far, as we had a busy day ahead of us. I thought the trail went up the nearby hill, but instead, it ran parallel to the road.  The trail wasn’t terribly steep, as it paralleled the road.  This was the steepest part I saw:

The view along the trail was pleasant as well.  I was going to wait until the sun reached into the valley (and my truck, and JoAnna) before continuing about our day.

Along the way, I did see some Indian Paintbrush flowers (I think that is what these are called):

Later in the day, we explored the areas near the Waldo and Kelly mines.  We only did a little hiking here, maybe a half a mile or so, and the photos I took were more about the mining history.  I will post those on my Industrial Archeology blog instead.  However, the view from both mines was really nice.

Those clouds signaled the rain.  Believe it or not, I was getting rained upon in the photo below:

We did a little rockhounding and then returned to Socorro, swapped vehicles, and headed back to Rio Rancho.  We will return soon, as we always have fun outside.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Camping Summary, Car Camping, Hiking, Mining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Full House for Air Rifle Practice

I briefly attended air rifle practice this afternoon, though I did not get the chance to shoot.  It was the first air rifle practice of the semester, so there were quite a few shooters lined up to participate.  On nights like these, I help coach and watch the firing line, and so that’s what I did.

I should probably look into the NRA coaching program.  I love teaching, and I love shooting.  I should probably look into becoming a real certified shooting instructor.  In fact, I will give an update next week on what is required to do so.  Hold me to it!

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Geocache

Yesterday, we were driving from Silver City, NM, to Socorro, NM, and stopped at several landmarks along the way.  One of these places commemorated the Silver Fire of 2013, which burned quite a few square miles of the Gila National Forest.

The forest has been recovering, and we stopped at the new visitor’s parking area and rest stop and looked over the area.

While we were there, I checked my geocaching app, and sure enough, there was a small magnetic located here.  We signed the log.

We continued east on NM 152, stopping at an old bridge built in 1927.  There was supposedly another geocache, but with nighttime upon us, we never did find it.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Geocaching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Running Slightly Behind

I am running behind on most of my ventures at this point, including this blog.  I started reading the September issue of American Rifleman, and will give a summary in the next week or so.

We have a new athletic director at NMT, and I need to make sure that the NMT Shooting Sports Club is represented at our next meeting.  The former director, who had been here for many years, knew about the club and supported us, and I hope that the new director will as well.

It has been far too long since I last went shooting as well.  I may try to do some shooting in the next week, but it is hard to say when I will get the chance.  Perhaps on Friday?

Thank you for reading my post.



Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Guns I Wanted

It is funny to notice how things change.  When I was an early teenager, I wanted a rifle that I could strap onto my backpack and cart around in the woods, should I encounter a rabid dog, black bear, or invading communist Red-Dawn style.  I spent many a summer nights in the backyard tent in Westminster, MD, and in the woods of Jersey, VA, setting up tents, tearing them down, and hiking about, mostly carrying a pellet rifle.

The two rifles of most interest were the M1 Carbine and the Marlin Camp Carbine series.  I was drawn to pistol calibers for their likelihood of being stopped by trees, should I have to fire in a tense situation.

I first saw the M1 Carbine in an issue of Shotgun News for the whopping dealer price of $225.  I figured for $300, I could get one with a sling, several spare magazines, and enough ammunition to practice and stay locked and loaded (in 1993ish prices).

The Camp Carbines were found only in The Shooter’s Bible, and I never saw one in person.  I wanted the .45 ACP version, as it used the same magazines as the 1911, and I figured that would be my first handgun, if I could find one.  The Shooter’s Bible had a high retail price, probably $600-700, but they always do.

Years later, I fired my first M1 Carbine at my very first Civilian Marksmanship Program shoot.  Not only was the short sight radius troublesome, but it was quite underpowered, as I found out with bullet drop at longer ranges.  It is a neat piece of history, and I wouldn’t mind getting one, but it is certainly not the “Go-To” gun I had thought it would be.  Plus, the price has skyrocketed on them, as they aren’t being imported from allied countries (for sale at the CMP Store) very quickly.

I never did get or fire a Camp Carbine 45.  I did, however, get a Camp Carbine 9.  One appeared, as a friend of mine was moving out of the country, and couldn’t take it with him.  I bought it right away.   As it turns out, it is not quite as utilitarian as I had hoped, either.  The first problem I had was that recoil buffer failed, and it would not feed.  I had that rebuilt, and my gunsmith said that the .45 version chews up buffers, and there is nothing that can be done about it.  The 9mm version is a little easier on the buffer, and he machined one from a different material that should last much longer.  Also, I was surprised at how much recoil there was with “only” a 9mm.  I did also buy a Smith and Wesson 5906, which uses the same magazines.

Overall, everything these rifles do, my AR-15 does better.  I do love my Camp Carbine, mostly as a childhood wish come true, but my AR is much more utilitarian.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Commentary, Firearms, Guns | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Button Quail

A few weeks ago, we visited the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, IL, to visit a friend of ours that works there.  She gave us a nice tour of the facility, and showed us how she stuffed different birds that are on display, as she is a taxidermist there.

One of the highlights was the bird and butterfly room.  I will someday post photos of the other animals there, but my favorite of all were the button quail.  I had never seen such a creature.  It was a bird that looked more like a walking potato.

According to Petco, you can have them as pets, though I could never meet the “below 80 degree F” requirement, as I do not have central air conditioning in my New Mexico house.

Even so, they are a fascinating creature.  I will try to clean up some photos and post them on this blog at a later date.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Geocaching in Southeastern Kansas

This past week, I have been on the road.  I drove to Decatur, IL, for a chemical safety training, and did not have much time outdoors.

Having said that, we did make a few stops along the way.  We stopped in Moline, KS, just because we took the scenic route through town.  While we were there, we stopped and saw the oldest swinging bridge in Kansas.

While looking at this awesome bridge, it dawned on me that someone had likely placed a geocache nearby, as this bridge was a local landmark.

We found one the bridge! It was a magnetic cache, and had a logbook to sign, so N3MRA and Mknowbuddy are now signed in.

Then, still thinking about geocaching, we found another one a little ways south near the county line.  This one was on a church sign. This one was a homemade magnetic holder as well, with a logbook. We signed that one, too.

I will post more of these in the future, as it was fun looking for them.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Geocaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment