April 5, 2021
by David Ryan
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Making Amazing Discoveries While Looking for an Old Stagecoach Road

Wandering, as has been described many times on this website and in the book The Gentle Art of Wandering, is about adopting a mindset that allows you to see and then letting what you see guide you on where you go. It’s about setting yourself up for having an adventure and making amazing discoveries every time you step out the door.

But as the Wandering book points out, it’s also good to have some ideas for places to check out as that can provide the necessary context that you might need to get out the door. An idea could be as simple as a hiking trail to check out, following up on a hunch, or something else. But it is only when you act upon your idea that your wandering adventure can begin.

To get some new ideas during the pandemic, I pulled out a few of my Land Status maps to look for some new places to explore and noticed a dashed line on the Albuquerque Land Status map labeled Old Stagecoach Road.

This portion of map is west of Stanley, NM.

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March 3, 2021
by David Ryan
1 Comment

Hiking and Exploring in the Quebradas Backcountry

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Quebradas Back Country Byway is a 24-mile long dirt road that runs on the east side of the Rio Grande through the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert from a few miles north of Socorro, New Mexico to a few miles east of San Antonio, New Mexico. With Quebradas meaning “breaks” in Spanish, the back country byway doesn’t disappoint. The road makes many twists and turns as it works its way through a broken landscape of cliffs, arroyo canyons, and the brilliant colors of the slanted land formations.

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February 11, 2021
by David Ryan
6 Comments

Hiking and Exploring in the Upper Rio Puerco Basin

The National Park-worthy landscapes of the Upper Rio Puerco basin are just inside the 60-mile radius limit from Albuquerque and are where Hikes 35, 36, 37, and 39 of the 3rd edition of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Albuquerque are located. The drive to Guadalupe Outlier (Hike 37) rivals California Highway 1 in being one of the most stunning drives in the country!

With most of the Upper Rio Puerco being public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), hiking and exploration options are much greater than the four hikes described in the book. The four hikes are meant to introduce you to this fantastic area.

Since none of the roads are paved and are sometimes very rough and with the area being extremely remote, you may want to try out the hikes described in the book before venturing out on your own. Several years ago a friend of mine and I went on a weekend bike camping trip through the basin and went twenty-four hours without seeing another vehicle or person. So please make sure that you are properly prepared.

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