The Last Pack Trip Into The Pecos Wilderness

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.

Tererro General Store Riding Stables
Tererro General Store Riding Stables

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.

Horses packed and waiting for riders
Horses packed and waiting for riders

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).

My horse was named Sampson
My horse was named Sampson

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.

The riding party
The riding party
Cattle with pointy things along the trail
Cattle with pointy things along the trail

We were back in forest when getting to our final destination.

Some fallen trees along the trail
Some fallen trees along the trail
The horses will be happy to get rid of us
The horses will be happy to get rid of us

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.

Campsite in the Pecos
Campsite in the Pecos

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.

Pecos Baldy Lake
Pecos Baldy Lake

We were lucky to have a day of no rain where we were able to hike to the top of Ease Pecos Baldy.

Near East Pecos Baldy
Near East Pecos Baldy
The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy
The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy
People on a nearby peak
People on a nearby peak

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.

Hiking out
Hiking out

The enitire photoset can be viewed on the Flickr set “2012-09-07 Pecos Pack Trip“.

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The Centipede That Crawled Throughout The Door Frame

Centipede that crawled through the door frame today

Last week I changed the water on the aquarium. I used the spigot in the front of the house with the Python venturi pump, which caused all the water to dump right near the front door. About 15 minutes later Saturn the cat was the front door, trying to climb to the top. I went to investigate and a few seconds later centipede came through the door frame.

This is the first time I have seen a centipede at the house and the first time I have seen a Scolopendra Hereos at all. At about 3 inches long, it’s half the length of the centipede I previously posted about in Austin, Texas. The one I captured looked exactly the same, until I killed it with alcohol and it lost some of it’s color.

I would rather have scorpions than these things any day.

What To Do With Excess Scorpions? How About Drink Them

Since I have had problems with scorpions, I keep finding in my house in the last few years, I’ve been trying to think of something to do with them. Instead of just releasing them back outside maybe I could sell them on the internet or something.

68C374AC-6802-44DE-B159-ED385683F73D.jpgOr how about turn them into Vodka.

Scorpion Vodka is made with farm raised buthus martensii scopions, made in china of course.

According to their website:

Alcohol infused with a scorpion is said to possess many excellent health properties when drunk, such as helping to increase libido, lowering blood pressure & helps remove toxins in the bloodstream.

If scorpion vodka doesn’t do it for you, they have other stuff such as edible worms or crocodile curry.

The Three Martini Renovation Or How To Piss Off Bloggers

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The Wall Street Journal has a article title “The Three Martini Renovation” in which the the article can be summarized to this

But when novices who’ve had a few drinks get a hold of crowbars, drills and Sawzalls, the results are sometimes less than satisfactory.

A number of house bloggers were interviewed for this article, including myself. Many bloggers believe the reporter of the story, Jennifer Saranow, misrepresented herself.

The reporter told me she was writing a story about such work parties. People helping people. That sort of thing. When I described the plaster party to her on the phone, she expressed the usual polite surprise that people still help each other like that.

Then the reporter admitted the story was not a feel-good story about people helping their neighbors. It was a story about people throwing renovation parties to save money and inviting inexperienced friends over to mix alcohol with demolition – friends who ended up screwing things up or getting injured.

1902victorian.com’s account of the story is pretty good. I recommend reading the whole thing.

I was contacted via my blog, but I took several weeks to get back to the reporter. By the time she had interviewed me, I think she pretty much had the story written and didn’t dig too much. I did have a demolition part with plenty of beer but there was no excitement like some drunken friend taking out the wrong wall. I’m not mentioned in the story.