McKenzie Stock Driveway

August 27, 2011

by Linden B. (Lindy) Sisk

Five of us, Tristan, Alex, Sue, John, and I, left the RV park at about 8:30 A.M., headed up Forest Road 508 to access the McKenzie Stock Driveway. The road had recently been graded, and wasn't bad in the lower sections, although the grader had in some places scraped off the rocks which provided traction. Since the area has been getting some rain lately, the Jeep was moving around laterally a bit where there were no rocks. In addition, the upper section was narrow, in places not much wider than the Jeep. I wouldn't have been able to get my F250 up there, both because it was too wide, and because the wheelbase of the Crew Cab Long Bed is too long to get over some of the humps in the road.

We parked the jeep about as high as Tristan was comfortable going, and walked in. It was worth the trip. I mentioned the rain - which left the entire valley socked in - but after a short walk up the trail, we were above the clouds.

Tristan and John admiring the view

John, Alex, and Tristan

And, yes, the sky really is that blue. I need a macro to insert that phrase.

The trail switchbacks up not far above that point. The view from the switchbacks was equally spectacular. Those of you familiar with this area may recognize the back side of Bristol Head near the upper right in the picture below.

We got up to the top of the switchbacks, and proceeded west along the stock driveway. There were lots of flowers along the way.

Wandering west, we eventually reached this huge, beautiful meadow. The high mesa in the upper right is Snow Mesa. Often there are sheep being herded in this meadow. The meadow was packed with yet more flowers.

We wandered back to the east until reaching the edge of the escarpment. With the clouds now gone, the views of the Rio Grande valley below were spectacular. I posed the crew just before we ate lunch.

Sue, Tristan, Alex and John

After eating lunch, admiring the view, and firing off some SPOT satellite updates to our position, all that remained was to find the trail off to the east, and head down the switchbacks.

I recently suffered the tragic loss of my beloved wife. Being back in this beautiful country, and hiking with my good friends, is helping to ease the pain. Everyone should be lucky enough to have such friends. God bless them, as He has blessed me with them.
© 2011 by Linden B. (Lindy) Sisk

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