Ascending to a high-point around 8400′, this ride to Rustlers Park and Barfoot Park climbed up into forests of chaparral, oak, laurel, then pine, douglas fir, aspen, and spruce. Our out and back ride on this dirt/gravel road was 26.9 miles with 3476′ of climbing.
We started our ride on Pinery Canyon Road just past Jesse James Canyon. Not having any idea what the surface would be like, we rode our mountain bikes. Gravel bikes would also work, the downhill just wouldn’t be as fun. This ride climbs pretty much the whole way up on a narrow forest road along Pinery Creek, which was dry this time of year. It’s hunting season and we saw several groups of campers set-up along the road.
The wind was pretty gusty when we reached Onion Saddle. I wish I new why it was called this but couldn’t find anything. Here the road continues on down to Portal, NM, or turns right and heads up to Rustlers Park and Barfoot Park. “Park” in this area means meadow. We turned right and explored both areas. Rustlers Park had a little campground with hiking trails leading into the Chiricahua Wilderness. Around the turn of the century, rustlers concealed stolen stock up there while altered brands healed and pursuit cooled. We took a couple pictures and headed back. Once we turned around and headed back, it was almost all downhill and fast!
Last night was homemade pizza night! Luckily it was cool outside (70 degrees) so turning on the oven for that long wasn’t too bad. For dessert we FINALLY finished of Derek’s birthday cake.