The bend in the tree is pointing to the spring just down the slope.

September 8, 2014
by David Ryan
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Wandering Along the Faulty Trail

A couple of weeks ago the dogs and I decided to escape the heat by taking a walk in the nearby Sandia Mountains. Before leaving, I took a look at 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Albuquerque by Stephen Ausherman and Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide by Mike Coltrin.

The Coltrin book mentioned a thong tree along the Faulty Trail. A thong tree is where a young sapling is tied to make a ninety degree bend in the tree trunk. The tree eventually outgrows the thong to become a pointer to a specific landmark. In this case Cañoncito Spring.

The Ausherman book mentioned the many travertine pools just below Cañoncito Spring. Travertine is a form of rock that is the result of minerals precipitating out of mineral laden water. In this case, the precipitating mineral is a form of limestone. They have created a stair step series of travertine lined pools below the spring.

I had hiked the Faulty Trail many times and was pretty sure that I had seen the thong tree, but I wanted to see it again to make sure that I was thinking about the same tree that was mentioned in the book. I had also seen the travertine pools before. But since it has been a few years since I last checked on them, I thought it would be worthwhile to see if the recent drought has affected them. So with a couple of ideas now in place, we were ready to go walk along the Faulty Trail.

Ideas are a basic part of wandering as they are great for getting you out. Once you’re out, you can then let your wandering skills take over to see what else you can discover. And a great way to get some ideas is to have a few good walking, hiking, or nature guides on your bookshelf.

I personally like walking along the Faulty Trail as it is just a walk in the woods. It doesn’t go to the top of the mountain. It doesn’t have many steep climbs, and it isn’t on anyone’s must do list. It’s just a nice place to walk and a great place to see what you can see. And this walk was no exception.

This pretty much what you get when you walk along the Faulty Trail. If you look around you'll notice plenty of limestone along the trail.

This is pretty much what you get when you walk along the Faulty Trail. If you look around you’ll notice plenty of limestone along the trail.

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Seeing these crayfish was not a surprise.

August 20, 2014
by David Ryan

Wandering into a Movie Shoot

Wandering as described on these blog pages and in the book The Gentle Art of Wandering is about being mindful when walking. That is, allowing yourself to see and then letting what you see guide you on where you go and what you do. This mindset always seems to allow you to discover something interesting every time you get out, and my walk with the dogs yesterday was no exception.

Before we reached the first corner, we saw a sign hanging on a light post pointing in the direction of a movie shoot. I wondered at the time if we would have the chance to see it on our walk. We proceeded to take one of our regular routes along an acequia (irrigation ditch).

Signs are hung before a movie to show the cast and crew where to go. K D stands for Kepler's Dream.

Signs are hung before an “on-location” movie shoot to show the cast and crew where to go. K D stands for Kepler’s Dream.

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August 6, 2014
by David Ryan

When You Wander, One Thing Always Leads to Another

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A couple of weeks ago the dogs and I were walking through the Bosque along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. Bosque happens to be the Spanish word for forest and “the Bosque” is what the cottonwood forest along the Rio Grande in New Mexico is called. While walking we spotted a sign that told us that we were entering the Aldo Leopold Forrest and Trail.

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