Hiking the Luchini Trail . . .
If you’re new to this blog, let me clarify something. Bridget and Spike are my canine crew. My new friend, a fellow camper, is also named Bridget. So far no man has shown up named Spike. For that I’m glad. Then it would really be confusing. Okay, back to the blog entry . . .
Starting at the entrance of Elephant Butte State Park, the Luchini Trail loops around behind the campsites, up a small hill and over to the Elephant Butte Inn. The crew and I hear about this trail from Noah, Hayley and their owner, Bridget.
The crew and I visit them at their campsite. Noah and Hayley are good canine hosts. They show the crew how to play with a ball and with a stick. Spike and Bridget (the canine Bridget) watch the demonstration politely. Neither of them get the point of chasing after a ball or running around with a stick in your mouth.
Bridget (the lady) and I talk for about an hour.
She tells me she takes her crew down to the lake every day or walks them on the trail. As you can see from the photo, Noah and Hayley receive excellent care and grooming. As for my crew? I’m thankful they’ve got self-cleaning fur! And they should be thankful, too, for that matter.
We’ll go on our hike after a trip to the laundromat.
The disadvantage of having a lot of clothes is the temptation to put off a trip to the laundromat. For a very long time. It’s pretty bad when you have to ask the attendant to give you ten dollars worth of quarters and you wonder if that’ll be enough. At least the driers are hot, hot, hot! In what I’m beginning to see as typical Truth or Consequences (expect the unexpected), the attendant starts up a floor model popcorn machine. The sound and smell of popcorn popping adds some festivity to the laundromat atmostphere!
Later the crew and I set out on our big hike on Luchini Trail.
I hate to bring this up . . . it’s hard not to think of coyotes. Coyotes have been seen around here and the park ranger tells people to keep an eye on their dogs. In fact, I heard some howling the other night. Bridget’s tale of Noah’s confrontation with a coyote last year doesn’t help. They were walking on the dirt road up by the neighboring campground when a coyote approached Noah who was running free. Before Bridget could catch up and grab his leash to pull him away, several coyotes appeared and formed a half-circle around him! Bridget ran, yelling and screaming, toward Noah. Fortunately Noah came running toward her. She grabbed his leash and got away from there!
Okay. Enough of that. About our hike . . .
I like that the path is very wide. No close bushes from which a snake might strike. Or from which a coyote might lunge. Along with a few of his friends. Gee, are we having fun yet? Move ON. Actually the only wildlife we encounter along the trail is a jack-rabbit, a regular rabbit, a few doves and quail. That’s okay with me.
To me . . . a bench provided for your hiking comfort is a good sign.
It says to me there’s a pretty good chance we won’t be rappelling down cliffs or fording any raging rivers. Luchini Trail is an easy hike. The biggest difficulty is a stone in my shoe.
We walk the path up the hill, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly hear a car horn and traffic. The town of Elephant Butte is at the end of the trail. How’s that for roughing it!