Off the Beaten Path: San Gregorio Reservoir

As most people in the state of New Mexico know, most access to the forests trails have been closed as of 6/24. I was lucky enough to get an extra day off before I start working six days a week to head into the mountains for two days of hiking and one night of camping. I made it just before the state closed the mountains:)

We, my family and a few friends, headed up to San Gregorio early Friday morning, the day of the summer solstice, and drove back late Saturday afternoon. We found a spectacular, peaceful spot to put up our tents about 5 miles from the lake and set up camp. We were at about 9,300 ft. (hmm… it’s a good thing we took a lot of water) and the trees were huge. I think so far in all of my travels the trees were the tallest and thickest I have ever seen. After letting the dogs run for a bit we had a snack and headed to the lake.

Note: I was a very proud mom that day. We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback Mutt (Lion Hunter), she is great at catching birds, but in her 9 years of life has never caught that pesky bunny she as been trying for. Well, she still hasn’t caught that bunny, but Friday afternoon she did catch a chipmunk-and boy was it a lightning quick catch. Do I feel sorry for that chipmunk? Yes. At the same time I am very proud of her; especially if she never catches a furry animal again. She is getting up there in her doggy years. Besides the chipmunk died as soon as it entered her mouth so no suffering and the chipmunk wasn’t used as a play toy either.

It’s about a mile hike gradually uphill to the lake, but well worth it. The trees and bushes surround you as you hike up. There is moss floating over the trees and tons of different vibrant flowers to look at and get pictures of, plus wild rose bushes everywhere with their pretty pink flowers. (We as a people should really start taking better care of our planet-these flowers had the most amazing bright colors I have seen in a long time. Like we have been untouched by human pollution colors. Especially the columbine.)

At the lake there is a rocky shore on one side and a grassy meadow on the other. Amazingly there were wild iris’s growing between the rocks on the rocky shore. Besides seeing blue, blue dragonflies we caught glimpses of purple butterflies and watched a water snake catch a minnow before coming to shore to say hi. We stuck to the rocky slope that afternoon and watched the fishermen and women.

Note: When the sun was out it was incredibly hot and I did get a little burn even with the tons of sunscreen I put on. When the sun went behind a cloud and a gust of wind kicked up it was really cold. I’m glad I had a hoody to wear.

Getting hungry again we hiked back down from a lake, jumped into the truck and headed back to camp. On the drive back a big pussy cat, mountain loin, pounced into the road in front of us and ran into the canyon. The kitty was a reminder that we were still in the wilderness where bigger more aggressive animals roam. Back at camp we cooked up dinner and watched the almost Super Moon rise. The moon was so close it felt like you could reach out and touch it.

Saturday we lazy packed up camp and wandered back to the lake for the afternoon. This time me and my girlfriend decided we would walk the whole width of the lake. In the meadow on the other side is where we found the purple and even a couple of black butterflies. By the time we walked back to the guys there were some cowboys driving cows through the meadow. It was cool to see. Did I mention that we had to chase cows out of our camp a few times while we were there?

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