After spending a day walking about Santa Fe acclimating to the altitude (7,000 feet), Mr. Jackson and I decided that we would try out our new gps gadget, take a hike and locate a geocache named "Lucky Coin." Geocaching is a treasure hunt using a gps device to locate a geocache based upon the gps' coordinates. The "Lucky Coin" geocache trail is in area that we had never had a chance to explore so we filled up our camels and got in the car. Completed in 2005, the Dale Ball Trails include about 22 miles of hiking and biking trails within 10 minutes of the plaza. We started in a section that is adjacent to the Audubon Center and an area of town which is owned by the Nature Conservatory --truly beautiful. The hike started with a .8 mile walk to the trailhead and then climbed via switchbacks 1200 feet to the point where my internal hiking clock said we had gone as far as we should go, about 3 miles, given our 'lowlander' status and the fact that we hadn't taken a strenous hike in quite some time. Mr. Jackson looked at me as if I were commiting mutiny--" we are just .5 miles from the cache."
"Yes, that's true but it is based upon a straight line (a gps triangulates based upon three points) and we will need to continue on the trail for perhaps, another mile or so, " I said.
Mind you both of us felt fine and were enjoying the view, but the little voice I hear when hiking was saying "It is two in the afternoon you have been hiking for a hour and half at altitude and have to get back." I always listen to that voice and after a bit of grumbling, Mr. Jackson agreed and we made our descent.
So, yes there is gold in those hills still--I assured Mr. Jackson that our lucky coin would be there the next time we visited.
Here's some shots from the trail: