Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Another Cibola outbreak - Mt. Withington, New Mexico

When I asked for vehicular volunteers for a dangerous mission, Spud stepped quickly forward, with the heart of a 4X4. Frankly, we never begin a risky enterprise, we just ease into it like a frog in a pot.

It all begins with a road sign ("Something you haven't seen before, this way --->") and a day free of time constraints. We followed the impulse to turn "this way" to see what we might encounter.

This one is ... (please don't say it) ... wait for it ... (you can stop and walk away right now!) ... outstanding in his field.

Weather is the soundtrack for any adventure. Sunny? Yeah, let's go - what can go wrong?? Ominous? Should I go back? Will I get out of here?

All these sky shots happened in the same sky. 

I'm linking to this particular page about Mt. Withington because it makes Spud and me sound like crazy mountain explorers. CRAZY!!

Once you enter the "WARNING narrow winding road next 5 miles" area, there are multiple camping opportunities. Don't bring a trailer or big rig up here. It's strictly one-lane.

From what I could discern from my Benchmark map, I never got into the Gila Wilderness (which would require abandoning Spud and setting out on the horse I had packed for the occasion). The Cibola National Forest abuts the Wilderness area, and that's where Mt. Withington lies. 

The only other human I encountered on this road was a biker with the fattest tires I've ever seen. I passed him three times, and he was glad to see the last of me when he got off his bike and walked up the final piece of the road that Spud and I regretfully forewent. 

We came face-to-face with a sign that said "<=== Feel free to enjoy this road, unless you are a passenger vehicle" Spud and I looked deep into the other's eyes. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Really, we should have declined, but all's well that ends with us back on solid ground.

This benign road is what you get if you push past good sense.

Gratuitous radio telescope. It's the money shot.

 At one point, you will be given the easy opportunity to avoid further difficulties. One choice is the final four miles to the lookout. I suspect it's breathtaking, so rather than giving my breath, I rejected that option.

Another choice is to TURN AROUND NOW FOR GODSSAKE!

The third is to venture on a final mile (such a short distance!) to visit Bear Trap Canyon campground. We had come so far ...

This last "mile" was, by far, the most transportationally-challenging of the trip. Here is where I'll go ahead and say 4x4 only. Unless. I made it in, I made it out. And I stand by my recommendation. 

Once back on asphalt, I moseyed on into Datil and beyond to the relative challenge-free existence of my cabin. Feeling like both Lewis and Clark.


Gaelyn said...

Great trip, awesome country, and you and Spud made it out alive.

The Good Luck Duck said...

We did, Gaelyn!

our awesome travels said...

I have lots the link for your blog and just came across it again , nice the see you around again.

The Good Luck Duck said...

I'm so glad you did!! I've been trying to send up flares - I'm glad one of them caught your eye.

MFH said...

Between the C-bola and the Pie-gan Flu a person cain't hardly go out no mo'.