Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
I just got word from John Moses, the Superintendent of the Franklin Mountains State Park, that a dog died on a hike on the Directissimo just a little while ago. There were 3 youths and 3 dogs hiking and one dog perished. Why? The heat.
The air temperature may be 100° or 106° (as it is right now). However – and this is a critical fact to learn – the rock temperature may be anywhere from 150° to 165°. The limestone and the rhyolite pack a punch. The air temperature alone makes hiking beyond mid-morning dangerous. Add to it the rock temperature and you might as well sit on top of your barbeque and start the fire.
Just yesterday a hiker got into trouble in Tom Mays Park because he was dehydrated and had to call for rescue.
Please hike only in the cool hours of the morning. Even then, during this time of year, take a liter of water per hour of hiking at a minimum. Wear a hat and clothing that will protect you from the sun. Wear sunscreen. If you take your dog, take extra water for your pet. Stop often to hydrate. Take a cell phone. It is best not to hike alone. Let others know where you are going. Don’t deviate from your plan.
Remember: it is not just the ambient air temperature that is the danger. It is the temperature of the rocks that will bake you and your animal.
Finally, Sunrise Hiker Legacy Mark Johns informed me that just last Wednesday a bicyclist was bitten by several bees in the North Hills area of the Franklin Mountains State Park. It was reported in this morning’s El Paso Times that a couple was bitten in San Elizario. It’s hot and it’s dry! Be and stay alert.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Rick LoBello, June 16, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
For over a year now, the club has been planning a parking lot and "official" trailhead for the Redd Rd. trail network. This parking lot is planned to be under the power lines across the street from the dental offices along the paved road that goes up to the water tanks. A trail map and information sign will be posted at the top of the hill next to the water tank.
We originally sat down with employees of the Public Service Board, our water utilities people and controllers of most of the city managed land, and discussed this plan with them. They seemed all excited and we had a company draw out plans and give us a quote that is less than $3000. This amount can easily be paid by us as we've raised plenty of money through donations, memberships, and the Puzzler race. We've yet to hear anything else on this issue and now the PSB is stalling and wants us to provide a handicapped space and pay for a drainage survey which they could easily do themselves in a matter of minutes using their fancy digital mapping software.
Wednesday we will be approaching the Board of the PSB to get them to act on this plan since it will cost them nothing, we have the money to pay for it, and the city really needs to begin providing parking areas to popular recreational areas such as the Redd Rd. trails. Some of you may say, "Why bother? I just park on Redd Rd. or the dentist's lot." In less than a couple of years, Redd will continue through as Helen of Troy and traffic will be a concern. Crossing the road and parking on it will be unsafe or may become impossible.
If you'd like to see a trailhead parking area, please let the PSB and City Council know. Contact your city council rep to let him/her know that you heard the BMBA is willing to build a trailhead parking lot, but we are facing stalling tactics and even opposition to the plan. If you can attend the PSB meeting this Wednesday at 9 am, contact Cynthia Montoya at 594-5596 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let her know that you want speaking time during the call from the public. You don't have to speak, but reserving the time allows you to pass your time to someone else like me so I can ramble on and annoy the Board....just kidding. Reserving time to speak lets the board know that people are interested in this topic.
The PSB meets at the EPWU Building on Hawkins just north of I-10 on the east side of the road.....easy access. Meetings can last well into the lunch hour, but usually don't. Coming early allows you to see the Mayor make a fool of himself.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Celebrate National Trails Day this Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at Keystone Heritage Park, 4200 Doniphan Drive. (Map) The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its trail partners will host naturalist-guided tours at the park as part of the completion of the 15-year-old Great Texas Wildlife Trails. This nature event is historic for several reasons:
- This is the 15th anniversary of the first Texas Wildlife Trail . . . and Texas was the first state to establish wildlife trails to help visitors get their most out of the outdoors!
- Our Far West Texas Wildlife Trail completes the state's suite of trails
- We're also celebrating National Trails Day and El Paso's considerable outdoor/adventure assets
- Free admission to Keystone Heritage Park (4200 Doniphan) for the event; lots of fun, free giveaways for attendees, including copies of the map itself!