GICL: The Eighth Week

It was our bi-monthly trip to Silver week, and this time, we stopped for breakfast on the way.

Living Harvest Bakery

I had known about this bakery ahead of our arrival here, and a coworker confirmed it was a fine place to grab a bite and enjoy a good cup of coffee. Some of the online reviews had noted that it is run by the church and that proselytizing might occur. While it is true that it is run by a Christian Fellowship, and there are scriptures writ into the tabletops and framed on the walls, there was nary a peep from any employee, not even a β€œGod Bless” at checkout. There were also large maps of the USA and one of the solar system on the walls, so if you believe that simply having to lay eyes on such things is shoving Christianity, cartography, or astronomy down your throat, well then this may not be the place for you. If you believe that shoving a decent, inexpensive All you can enjoy!!! breakfast buffet, a large selection of locally-roasted coffees, and delicious fresh-baked goods down your throat is your thing, then you would be happy. We were!

Chocolate Pinon coffee in the morning breeze.

After a few phone calls and a stop at the San Lorenzo Post Office, which turned out to only be a USPS blue curbside drop box, we headed in to take a walk on Silver’s iconic Dragonfly Trail.

Almost too bright to read the signs.

The Fort Bayard trail system has many pathways from which to choose, but we were only interested in the 3-mile Dragonfly loop.

No water crossings on this one.

The trails are well-signed – mostly – and much of them are completely exposed.

Scant shade, but nice trail.

The highlight of this particular loop is the famous dragonfly petroglyph for which it is named. That, of course, was the only part of the whole trail system that was not at all signed, and we blew right by it at the two-mile mark. Maybe we’ll go back again sometime, and maybe we won’t. We haven’t been having the best of hiking luck on our go-to-town days, especially since we have to save grocery shopping for last to ensure we get our vittles back home before the long car ride takes its toll. In future, it looks like we will only do town stuff on town day, and save the outdoorsy things for other days. That said, we did enjoy the trails here (much more than Boston Hill) and would recommend them for both walking and biking.

Back at home base on an evening stroll.

Our big hike of the week was a partial repeat with an extra loop added.

It began on the EE Canyon Loop trail which I posted about here. We had an early start, but it was still quite warm. Looking back down to the road, we spotted a squadron of javelina darting under the bridge to snoofle along the riverbank.

They are in this pic, I swear.

Instead of following the trail across and into EE Canyon directly as we did the first time, we continued on out to Little Creek.

A big guy at a little creek.

This water crossing did not involve wet feet for once!

After stone-hopping over the creek, we came into a simply gorgeous piney woods.

One of our very favorite topographical features is a wooded meadow, I think for me it’s because it is such a contradiction. This was also a flat, smooth, semi-shaded portion of the hike, and therefore, fabulous.

The trail dropped down through more pines and flowers before crossing an open meadow to an intersection.

Do my shoulders look burned?

Even with sunscreen, even with partial shade, I managed to sustain a bit of sunburn on the tops of my shoulders. Stupid southwestern fireball! At least it was a good hike overall, and I probably got a little vitamin D out of it.

I don’t get a lot of time on my work days to devote to my project which was, as you may or may not recall, working on the Native Plant Garden. Add to that the fact that it is the wrong time of year to plant anything here, and add to that a lack of extra personnel and dedicated funds, and it becomes clear why the NPG hasn’t seen much progress.

It was, in fact, a very, very dry floor, but it was the only sign I had!

I did, however, have a whole scheduled project day this past week, and I started clearing out the already-established pathway so that gravel can be spread in eventually. The park already has the gravel, and our maintenance guy said he’d bring it down in the backhoe when I gave the go-ahead. As you can see from the above photo, it will be a little while before I can get it all cleared.

Eventually, this will be the refurbished hummingbird & butterfly box.

I only worked the first part of the day due to heat and the fact that I didn’t want to overwork my hands or back. It also gave me the afternoon to do some plotting on graph paper. Graph paper!!! I love graph paper almost as much as I love a wooded meadow. Anyhow, my plan is to have things to a point that the next volunteer(s) to take up the NPG mantle can get to the business of actually planting.

Meanwhile, just up the hill…

Guess who finally showed up?