On Friday 7 September 2012 4 friends and I rode horses into the Pecos along with 2 pack horses and 1 one guide. We rode about 8 miles up to East Pecos Baldy. The horses were provided by Tererro General Store and Riding Stables at a cost of approximately $1250 (not including tip). The pack horses carried each of our back packs at about 30-40lbs each and 70lbs of food (with an undermined but significant amount of that weight in alcohol). Since the Pecos Wilderness is a Wilderness, no motorized vehicles are allowed.
The Tererro General Store typically takes hunting parties into the Pecos but we not interested in hunting, just a way to get into the mountain without having to carry 40lbs plus packs 8 miles in. However we were hiking out, all downhill and theoretically with less pack weight. What could go wrong?
Which brings me to the title of the article. Apparently there has been an overall reduction of horse packing business for the Tererro General store and insurance is not only becoming more expensive but harder to get as insurance companies don’t want to cover horse packing. Therefore this will be their last year of providing these trips and they plan to sell off the stables and horses. We weren’t the last trip up for the horses as they had a few more hunting parties going up but we were near to being the last trip.
This is the first time I have rode a horse since I went to the Philmont Scout Ranch over 20 years ago. I was a little nervous that the horse I was going to be riding would take one look at me and decide to ignore all my commands. There was nothing to be nervous about. The horses, mine was name Sampson, has been on this trip many time and knew the way better than I did and was used to newbies trying to drive. There was very little for me to do except keep him from running into the other horses when they suddenly stopped and from taking any shortcuts that we might get stuck in (they aren’t all that smart sometimes).
We start the trip about 10am New Mexico time and arrived at our destination 8 miles up the mountain about 12:30pm. The 8 mile ride took us through some forest, then to a large clearing with some grazing cattle.
We were back in forest when getting to our final destination.
It mostly rained the whole time so we had to come up with covered communal area where we could sit around the fire and not get soaked. There also wasn’t a lot of firewood, the area had been picked pretty clean. What little firewood we found was wet.
We spent time exploring the area near East Pecos Baldy. There are supposed to be big horned sheep in the area but all we came across was cattle and a few bow hunters on horseback also looking for sheep.
We were lucky to have a day of no rain where we were able to hike to the top of Ease Pecos Baldy.
Finally, we hiked out on 10 September 2012. While we ate and drank our way through most of our supplies we still managed to have quite a bit of weight on us on our way out. Making us wonder why we didn’t rent horse to take us out.
The enitire photoset can be viewed on the Flickr set “2012-09-07 Pecos Pack Trip“.