Thread: Sections 6-7 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR)

  1. #1
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    Default Sections 6-7 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR)

    Overview
    The final chapter of our journey along the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route! In October we started in Dell City, TX and completed sections 1-2 (Sections 1 and 2 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR)). In March we picked up where we left off in Truth or Consequences and did sections 3-5 (Sections 3, 4, & 5 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route (NMBDR)). Now, we have concluded our trip by finishing sections 6-7 from Grants to then end point in Antonito, CO!

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    Trip Report
    On Thursday we loaded up the Montero Sport and headed north to Grants, NM, where we had left off back in March. We fueled up and went just a little ways into the Cibola National Forest where we set up camp at the Coal Mine Campground. We cooked pepperoni pizza and called it an early night.

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    Day 1, Grants to El Rito
    Friday morning we made blueberry pancakes, broke camp, and headed north through barren ranch lands with monoliths and unique rock formations, which eventually gave way to the green woods of the Santa Fe National Forest. We reached the end of section 6 in the town of Cuba and kept pushing on. Our plan was to stop and camp at the Abiquiu Reservior but we got there early in the afternoon and decided to make it to the town of El Rito instead. We followed the Rio Chama down to the town of Abiquiu where we stopped for a delicious cookies and cream milkshake.

    From there we had two choices. The "expert" route which went up steep, rocky terrain or the "normal" route which bypassed the technical section and took a paved road to El Rito. Now, we didn't decide to do the NMBDR to take direct routes on paved roads, so we aired down our tires, dropped it into 4hi and headed for the trail! This was the only portion of the entire NMBDR that required 4wd (aside from environmental conditions, ie snow between Snow Lake and Reserve). However, it wasn't that difficult and any 4wd vehicle should be able to make it. There was one section where you are bouncing along large boulders but even with my 2" lift and open differentials I was able to make it up without any trouble. We found a dispursed campsite in the Carson National Forest along the bank of a creek, set up camp, made tortellini on the Coleman stove, and relaxed by the fire while counting the stars until it was time to retire to the tent for the night.

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    Last edited by Outdooraholic; 07-05-2017 at 07:42 AM.
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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    Day 2 - El Rito, NM to Antonito, CO
    On Saturday we headed north through the Carson National Forest. This was another highlight of the trip! The forest was beautiful and ever changing with gorgeous views as we climbed up and down the mountains. We reached a maximum elevation of 10,100+ feet above sea level and could see snow on the mountains ahead of us in Colorado. We saw several deer along the trail as we made our way north and eventually crossed the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad before crossing the state line and entering both Colorado and the Rio Grande National Forest. From there it was a short drive to the ending point of the NMBDR in Antonito, CO. We stopped at the G6 hamburger stand for burgers and a celebratory chocolate dipped ice cream cone!

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    Conclusion
    Now that we have finished the NMBDR, it only seems fitting to reflect on our adventure. We split the route up into 3 weekend trips. We camped in cold mountains, caught rainbow trout in a beautiful mountain lake, and saw elk, deer, pronghorn, coyotes, fox, skunks, and rabbits along the way. We visited 2 National Monuments and 6 National Forests. We drove across deserts, snow drifts, and creeks. We chopped trees blocking the trail, shoveled snow, and made roadside repairs. We saw spectacular sunrises, sunsets, and breathtaking views of this beautiful creation. We enjoyed relaxing by campfires, eating s'mores, and the occasional stop at an ice cream shop. But most of all, we enjoyed the quality family time away from all of the distractions of day to day life. It brought us closer together as a family and it's a trip that I will never forget. I hope that this is the start of a life full of adventure for my two little girls (and the third one that is on the way)! May we never stop exploring and enjoying all that this wonderful and diverse country has to offer!

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    Last edited by Outdooraholic; 07-05-2017 at 07:46 AM.
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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    The Finale, Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods
    We made it all the way to Colorado... You didn't expect us just to turn around and go home, did you?? Saturday evening we drove up to Colorado Springs and splurged on a nice hotel room at the MCM Elegante. On Sunday morning we headed for the Pikes Peak Highway and the 19 mile drive up to the summit of America's Mountain! Pikes Peak is the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the whole world, behind only Mt. Fuji in Japan. If you go, which I recommend you do, go early! We got in quickly but by the time we left the line to get in was bumper to bumper down the mountain and all the way out onto the highway. (This was 4th of July weekend, but still, something to keep in mind).

    We made our way up the mountain, stopping along the way to take in the views, play in some snow along the road, and visit the Crystal Lake Reservoir. The drive itself is worth the visit, but the views from the top are icing on the cake! I highly recommend a visit if you haven't already been. We spent some time on the summit and then slowly made our way back down and headed for the Garden of the Gods Park.

    Garden of the Gods is a city park in Colorado Springs with unique rock formations, several hiking trails, and lots of rock climbing opportunities. We first grabbed lunch at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post and then hiked a 1.5 mile loop trail to stretch out our legs and let the girls feel like they were rock climbers. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon before heading back south. We had planned on staying at Trinidad Lake State Park in southern Colorado, but due to the holiday weekend, all of the campgrounds we looked up in Colorado were completely booked. So we headed further south and stayed at the Storrie Lake State Park outside of Las Vegas, NM. We set up camp, built a fire, and watched fireworks in the distance over the lake. It was a great end to our adventure before heading back home.

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    Last edited by Outdooraholic; 07-05-2017 at 07:37 AM.
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

  4. #4
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    Great finish! Thanks for sharing all of this! Looks like a 3rd gen monty is in your future

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    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMcGee View Post
    Great finish! Thanks for sharing all of this! Looks like a 3rd gen monty is in your future
    Thank you so much! I tried hard to convince the wife to get the 3rd Gen Montero but in the end we got a 1st Gen Sequoia, which I must say is really nice and I like it a lot. It's a super clean 2006 SR5 4x4 with leather and 85k miles. This is probably the last family trip in the Montero Sport as future family trips will be in the Sequoia.
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

  6. #6
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    The Sequoia will likely be nicer in the end anyways with the v8 and lack of depreciation lol.

    Recently applied for a pretty promising job in Los Alamos. All these pictures really have me crossing my fingers!

    If you haven't made it out to Mills Canyon I would highly suggest you put it on the list!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMcGee View Post
    The Sequoia will likely be nicer in the end anyways with the v8 and lack of depreciation lol.

    Recently applied for a pretty promising job in Los Alamos. All these pictures really have me crossing my fingers!

    If you haven't made it out to Mills Canyon I would highly suggest you put it on the list!
    Good luck with the job! I went on a kayaking trip from Espanola down the Rio Grande a year or two ago. Lots of outdoor adventure opportunities in that area. I haven't heard of Mills Canyon before but I was just looking it up. We drove right past it on our way back from Colorado. I will have to check it out.
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

  8. #8
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    Excellent write up as usual! Thanks for the knowledge!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by texploration View Post
    Excellent write up as usual! Thanks for the knowledge!
    Thanks!
    Outdooraholic's Montero Sport Adventure/Build thread
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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