Along the way, I encountered a little plant that stung like hell, I thind it was poison oak but I am not sure so I took a picture of it.
I arrived at the foot of the mountain that I had spotted from Ruidoso. The remaining 1,000 foot climb was on the bare mountain with a significant incline (21% grade) . There were no trees or vegetation and I made my way up by creating my own switchbacks to get up. I arrived to the summit after 3.5 miles which took me 2:14:11. The views from this summit which was 9,400 feet were spectacular and I got to see Sierra Blanca which will have to wait for another day.
|Sierra Blanca Peak and Little Bear Fire|
|Little Bear Fire|
To the north, I also had a spectacular view of the Little Bear Fire and the city of Ruidoso as well. As I started my descent, I realized it was going to be hard to find the trail again where I had left my car. I decided to follow the creeks as they would take me back to the city. I passed a lot of dry creek beds but then reached what I would later find out was the Ruidoso River where I was able to drink some water and pour some on my head. I followed the river into town and then went back to the road where I driven to the original trail head. I had to go back uphill and finished the entire hike/run in 5:20 having covered only 15 miles with 5,200 feet of total ascent and all above 7,000 feet.
The next day, I ran an easy 10 miles with 2,000 feet of total ascent. Overall, I feel a good training weekend as I approach 4 weeks until Leadville 50 miles on July 15.