Chaps, eyes, ears, gloves, boots, hard hat … though I only considered the hard hat required when cutting overhead, or in a lift. I know the chaps are a pain, but better than loosing a leg. Just be safe if you decide not to use them for a quick cut.
I tried to find some videos from Dr. Ball, but it looks like he doesn't upload his stuff. His videos, and lectures, will scare you safe.
I found a cool hard hat from Stihl that has built in ear protection plus a screen attachment that flips up and down to protect your face from flying debris. It's also useful for the gas-powered weed-eater. That thing will fling some rocks at high speed - best to keep that stuff away from my head. I do need to get some chaps.
I wear my PPEs when wood cutting, including chaps - always. Usually I'm the only dork wearing all that stuff but the chaps saved my thigh from slicing during a micro second moment of inattention. After a long day of cutting, I was tired and shut the chain saw off. As it was winding down to a stop, the chain touched my thigh and shredded the chap. Oh man, that was close.
Well, this was a great trip and a long one for all of us. Moving every night for five nights makes you really hone in your exploding/imploding skills. @pappy used to just watch us implode every morning so @Benzfanatical took up that torch. Poor Chris got to watch Larry and I explode each night then implode each morning
We met up at the designated camp spot, approx 15 miles east of the Beaverhead Work center (for fire fighting) wed night. I went by the VLA and headed south on CR52 which is a dirt road of approx 30 miles. If you need to test out your Baja skills, this is the place! There's one particular cattle guard that allows to catch air if your approach is more than 45mph It is at this point, Jessica's dog realized what this trip is going to be all about. This was his first trip w/o his sister Glee and he was having a tough time adjusting to washboards and cattle guard launches. I felt bad and slowed down. What I was really doing was testing out the newly installed Ironman4x4 Foam cell shocks and they didn't disappoint.
Larry took the asphalt approach by going through TorC and arriving half hour faster than we did. We had a campfire roaring before Larry showed up wed night. Since we weren't able to have any camp fires in the Maze camping trip, two weeks ago, this was a luxury we didn't want to pass up.
We got up and started the trail toward Reserve, NM. I took us on a detour through the Ghost town of Mogollon, which should've been part of NMBDR. Well, that's just my opinion anyway. This town is historic and well preserved, despite the avalanche of mud they received few years back due to the erosion from past wild fires. We grabbed lunch in the town before airing up and heading to Reserve. As we were yakking on the radio, Chris chimes in and shows up! After refueling we headed back to the Gila and found us a spot for the night in the tall pines.
After breaking down camp, the three rigs proceeded to head on the NMBDR trail. As some of you know, I like to eat at cool places so this time I took us off the NMBDR route and headed into Alpine, AZ for some pie/coffee. Heading into Alpine required us to go through Blue, AZ which is a luscious valley and a nice respite for the senses after eating dust. After food/drinks, we aired up and headed to Luna, NM to pick the NMBDR trail back up. I didn't know this but Larry does NOT like to have ice cream on the pie; he likes it on a separate container. The things you learn about people when you're on a trip....
We camped at a location in the Zuni mountains that Chris knew about intimately as this was his backyard. The club needs to go check out this area with Chris before he moves out of the state. There was nobody in this valley which surprised us given that it was a holiday weekend. The temps were below freezing at night which made Sat morning departure even slower than usual.
If you don't mind my blase attitude about when to break camp and where we're gong that day, then join me. Otherwise, I'll just drive you bat s*** crazy!
After a sloooooow start in the Zunis, we went into Grant via the Bonita Canyon Road FR447. This is a beautiful gravel road that takes you into Grant by going through Malpais area.
After refueling in Grants and hitting our first Walmart on this trip, we headed to Mt Taylor. The NMBDR trail takes you up and over Mt Taylor into the Cabezon area through various private/commercial ranches/properties with gates. NMBDR is following a county road (CR) so we have the right of way through these properties. As you can imagine, the scenery changes drastically, and we saw signs like "explosives....coal mines...." along this route. Mt Taylor was a little busy but not bad and of course, beer cans/bottles everywhere.
We found a nice camping spot that overlooks the entire valley. Unfortunately, we didn't have a direct line of sight to Cabezon peak but we made do!
This day took us to Cabezon peak where we hiked to the base and hung out for a bit before continuing on to Cuba via BLM roads. We stumbled upon some cattle herding operations with few cowboys/girls doing their thing. This was a windy day and we felt for the workers and couple of them didn't even wear hats.
In Cuba, we refueled and headed into the Jemez for few hours. The weather turned to crap and it was drizzling so we pretty much ran the Jemez from south to north and exited Santa Fe national forest toward evening. Since the weather was cold and gloomy, we kept going northward to outrun the storm and look for lower elevation camping for warmer temps. This brought us to the cute little town of Youngsville, NM. We veered off the NMBDR trail and jumped into a forest road north of this town and found us another great camp spot with a view of the valley.
Chris left the previous night for home and we decided to end the trip here and head home. The plan was to go through the Jemez and hit McCauley hot springs hike on our way. This place was super busy, about normal for a holiday weekend. This was a short but moderate hike and it loosened up the joints before settling in for a short drive home. Driving home was arduous due to the heavy winds on 550 but it was nice to be home early for a change.