During the ASCHG meeting I attended a few weeks ago, Bill, one of the ASCHG hike leaders, asked me to lead one of his hikes because he was going to be out of town. After some minor coaxing from Bill, I finally agreed to lead the hike to Glorieta Canyon on June 26th.
Having never hiked the Glorieta Canyon Trail before, I can’t imagine a more stressful and embarrassing situation than a hike leader (me!) who suddenly becomes disoriented, then puts on his best I’m-not-really-lost-and-disoriented face while he fumbles around with his GPS, map and compass in a desperate attempt to suddenly become reoriented, and get the reorienting done before the very people he is supposed to be leading feel it necessary to reorient themselves back towards the van and then on to the nearest coffee shop! Sensing my unease, Bill offered to accompany me on an exploratory hike to the canyon so I could familiarize myself with the trail prior to leading the group hike. That Bill is a good guy!!
So this past Friday, June 8th., Bill and I hiked the Glorieta Canyon Trail. Actually, this was our second trip up there in an attempt to do an exploratory hike in the canyon, but that first trip is another story. The group hike will only be up to the hotel ruins (green house icon in the third pic), but since we were out there, we decided to hike all the way up to the top of the canyon (why is part of the other story). This was a tough hike: about 12 miles round-trip, with a total elevation gain around 1,900 feet (2/3 of that gain was in the first and last mile), that took a little more than 6 hours to hike round-trip. And, yes, since I hadn’t hiked in almost two weeks, I was feeling it at the end!
Bottom Line: The exploratory hike was a success, had a great time and a great workout, and I now have my bearings and feel comfortable about leading the group hike up there on the 26th.
Note to ASCHG Members: If you are reading this article, our hike on June 26th. will only be to the hotel ruins, NOT to the top of the canyon, where Bill and I went. See the description for our hike on the ASCHG website.