Resumidero Riding Retreat

Summer Vacation Ride ~ New Mexico Mountains ~ 2010

click on photos to enlarge

by Redhorse



Texans, and a soon to be Texans couple from Clovis, NM, headed to the New Mexico Resumidero Rito Campground in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness area of the Santa Fe National Forest on July 4, 2010. If you’re going to locate this area on the New Mexico map, find Coyote, NM and then drop down into the forest about 20 miles.  Camp was along a running creek and populated by a sizeable community of performing ground squirrels. It’s 700 miles from Flower Mound, TX.



Almost 20 riders headed to the New Mexico Mountains for some cool summer riding. The herd of riders that saddled up during the two week adventure were this writer from Flower Mound, TX; Terry, Ann & Hannah Brock from Bertram, TX; Brian & Misty Valdez from Clovis, NM (and soon to be Alvord, TX @ LBJ Grasslands!); Ed Moore from Ralls, TX; Mark “Hippy” Morton from Ponder, TX; Steve Johnson of Hereford, TX; Terry Svehlak from Grainger, TX; Ken, Christina, Ty and Jake Martin and Elaine from Liberty Hill, TX; Dawn Boyer from Amarillo, TX and Marian Vanzee from Krum, TX. Those with Verizon cell phones had reception in a half-moon, 2 foot radius of a big pine tree, near the hood of the Brock truck and about 40 pine needles in any direction. The rest of us had none.  Someone did ask me since I had satellite television, did I get the internet?


Getting to this campsite can be challenging.  It is practically all uphill (to 10,000 ft.) from about Tucumcari, NM. Several rigs experienced overheating and related problems.  Hippy's rig required a break job expertly done by Brian and Terry. Ken's truck lost it's AC. Anyone heading to this area would be encouraged to be knowledgeable of the better forest roads to take. I’ll briefly touch on my resulting $70,000 trip expense later. (Those who participated in this trip will notice the refined way I am wording all this!)


The majority of the caravanning Texans met at the Valdez ranchette in Clovis, NM to overnight on the first leg of the journey.  Charlie and I opted to go via TX Hwy 287, I-40 and NM Hwy 285; a more direct route. We enjoyed some good layover rest stops during our journey.  The Empty Saddle RV Park,,

exit 333 on I-40, is located on the historic Route 66 in Tucumcari, NM. $35 for a nice pen and full hookup was a restful stop on our trip going. They offer covered stalls too.  The Santa Fe Rodeo grounds are managed by Jim Butler and he kindly offered us free overnight with stall and hookup while waiting on delivery of my repaired truck.  On the eve of our homecoming, we stayed at the Happy Tracks Horse Motel (806-352-9508), about 12 mi. west of Amarillo on the north service road of I-40. Take exit 60 (Arnot Rd.); there is easy access. We had a great stall with shavings and paddock and electric hookup for $45.00. Penny verified Charlie’s coggins papers and we both had a much needed rest.


A "Resumidero Riders Menu" of great meals was planned before the riders headed to the mountains.  We all arrived fortified with food for our respective portions of camp meals.  Leave it to Misty, the most petite of our group, to maintain her current diet of bird seed and roots!  Obviously, the rest of us dug into some great meals including Ed’s Dutch oven biscuits and cobblers, Terry & Ann’s breakfasts, Terry B’s “Chicken Resumidero”, my “tight bra and stilettos” lemon pies, and Hippy’s foreign meats (here, "dug into" takes on a new meaning).  Every day was started with a hearty breakfast and finished with a hearty evening meal.  Claiming to be a group of wine connoisseurs, we had appropriate wines for just about every meal.


Nightly entertainment mostly included playing Mexican Train dominos, Hannah serenading us with guitar music or Hippy tending to the campfire.  One evening real money was used for the Harley Davidson dice game.  Christina slinked off to her rig with almost $80 of our money! Some actually found time to play Monopoly? We did have some uninvited night guests. A few nights, the dogs sounded off, but the mule and horses were not bothered. Then the visitors left tracks and scraps; raccoons had found some of our waste.


Temperatures gently swayed between the 40s at night and mid to upper 70s when riding.  It made it very pleasurable for mounts and riders!  Having a good GPS operator and riders fairly familiar with the trails is almost a must when riding the Resumidero area.  Several riders spotted a bear the second day out, a herd of elk with young and another group watched a small herd of big deer, with large racked bucks in velvet.


The combination of active logging roads, restricted logging trails, large and small game trails and active riding trails creates confusion.  Trail markers were large flat notches out of the pine trees; one 4-5 inch square with a 4x8" rectangle flat notch about 3-4 inches below; all about horse head high. Basically, there was no rhyme or reason to the distance or direction of any trail. More than a few occasions required adventurous trail blazing.  (I’m pretty sure we had an accurate head count when we all headed home!)


Wildflowers were thick in low lying areas and along some trails.  The area was in dire need of rains, and we did have several afternoon showers which is typical in NM mountain regions.  One evening, we had a good heavy shower. You know, the kind that soothes you to sleep.  The next day the dust was settled and the air fresh; perfect for riding.


Now for that $70,000+ stimulus-free expense I had.  The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) cooler ruptured, about 20 miles short of camp, on my F350 King Ranch Ford (43,789 mi.) after driving 700 miles; truck tow to Santa Fe Ford Dealer ($524), repair job ($3200), tow LQ trailer with me and horse to Santa Fe Rodeo grounds ($623), sweet hubby Bob had new 2011 King Ranch F350 dually waiting for me when I got home ($62,000+); RIDING AND WEATHER – Priceless!


Robert & Laura Seeds operate the wrecker service out of Espanola that cared for transporting my vehicles. If you ever get in the area and need help from a genuinely helpful couple, give them a call at 1-866-753-7472.  They are very familiar with the camping area and trails we rode due to their hunter outfitting services.


The timing of our 14 day vacation adventure was good for a number of reasons.  Of course, the Texas weather was changing from hot and wet to dry and scorching. The weekend we arrived, a reunion of 250 people were mostly departed.  The weekend we pulled out another traditional annual reunion for the Juan Valdez family (or one of his brothers) was to begin.  Some of our riders had the pleasure of sharing the campgrounds with them a couple of years ago; mariachi music and all.


I enjoyed the camping, riding and the great fellowship of this riding group very much.  My future summer cooling rides will likely be more directed to the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma or Arkansas, however.  There are great campsites, logging trails and you cross several running creeks in an hour.  There is no place like home.  Happy Trails!

Click here: Resumidero Retreat Photos

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