Let's celebrate our love of the moon, food, and hiking by having a potluck at 4:30 pm. Around 5:30 pm we'll start a hike up the mountain. According to the all-knowing 'net,' moonrise will be at 5:32 (and sunset is at the same time) , so we should have lots of light (barring clouds).
You can bring libations (beer, wine, etc) but please note that we're doing this on a January evening and people will like something warm. (In the past, Joe's buttered rum and Kenny's mulled wine were good!) Please add a comment w/what you are bringing (food and drink).
Tortugas Mountain (aka "A Mountain", because it has a big "A" on it as seen from NMSU/Interstate 25) is an urban mountain with many, many hiking trails to explore. Since we will be hiking with the moonlight, we will stick to the road on the way up and down.
Directions to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset Parking lot, from Interstate 25:
• Take Interstate 25 exit 1 (University Avenue)
• Go east, towards the mountains.
• You'll pass two traffic light intersections, University Ave and Las Alturas/Don Roser, and University Ave and Telshor. The road curve, turning into Drippings Sands, and then Dripping Springs Road. You'll pass the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum on your left. Keep going.
• After about 2 miles, you'll reach the traffic-lighted intersection of Dripping Springs Road and Sonama Ranch Boulevard. At the light, turn right onto the gravel path.
• Stay to the left and follow the gravel path to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset parking lot.
DISTANCE 2-3 miles.
ELEVATION GAIN it is some 1000 ft to the top of Tortugas Mountain.
BRING: Flashlight (but only for emergency use, we try to hike only using the moonlight), water, etc.
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: variable; we finish when we finish. I aim for getting done around 7:30.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and ask others before you unleash.
SKILL LEVEL is moderate. Hiking in the dark add a level of difficulty, but since we will be hiking partially on the road, it may be easier than our 'normal' A mountain hikes.
TERRAIN is loose, steep mountainside/road.
WEATHER TBA , it can be windy on the top.
AFTERWARDS We may head to a restaurant for libations, but we'll discuss this towards the end of the hike.
• Las Cruces: 4:30 pm at Tortugas Mountain's Sunset Parking lot (see directions above). GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/112528322/geo:32.29748,-106.70694) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.29748,-106.70694&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.29748&mlon=-106.70694&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.29748,-106.70694&marker0=32.29748,-106.70694&z=18))
• Map of area (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=32.28814&lon=-106.69907&zoom=15&layers=M)
***Caution/Disclaimer: Each individual hiker is responsible for their own personal safety/health and of their guests when participating in Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club activities. The organizers of Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club and the Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club are not liable for any illness, injury, accident, mechanical break-down, or unforeseen acts that may occur while you participate going to, during, or after any activity. If you have a medical condition that may be aggravated by any kind of physical activity you must make your own personal decision about attending and not hold any of the volunteer organizers liable. All organizers are volunteers and are not compensated during any activity.***