Matt looked up the term “paliza” online. It means, “thrashing, beating, walloping”. Appropriate (for me, at least)!
The two of us got back into our Jemez exploration mode, and decided to ride Paliza Canyon today. It was a wonderful day to be outside. We’d ridden Cerro Pelado a while back, and Matt wanted to do some further exploring from Paliza. Sure enough, we hooked right into the forest road that led us to Richard Krause’s lookout tower. Paliza, wow, what can I say? Quite a ride!! There were times I wished I had my Intense on the descents. The name of the canyon is literal. My hands and arms were killing me by the time we were finished. The initial 6.5 to 7 mile climb (and descent for your return) is very rocky, full of those loose babyheads that will shake and bounce the living daylights out of you. The rest of the trail is unbelievable. We were riding some dirt road that don’t get too much use, although it appears that Jeeps and ATVs seem to like this trail.
Today, Matt and I had the place to ourselves, minus a couple of hunters and an unfriendly bull. We were just riding along, and this bull was blocking the trail at a cattle guard. He had his rear to us at first, but once we rung our bike bells and yelled at him to get out of the way, he quickly turned around and started mooing at us. Never had that happen before. He wouldn’t stop. We decided to hike-a-bike up the hill and around him to avoid an bad confrontation. We saw his girlfriend down the road a way after this.
The riding was beautiful. We rode among the trees with nice, dark soil for much of the trail. There’s a lot of climbing, but quite doable on a fresh pair of legs. We came across an old log cabin on the way back from the ride. We took a quick break to check out what was left of it.
On our return part of this lollipop route, we came across an interesting thing…what’s that I see??
Holy cow, a crashed truck!
Nice work there, Cooter! No bodies, which was the first thing we DIDN’T want to see…thank goodness. Just the vehicle. Looks like the occupants most likely got out okay.So, stats for the ride:
- 25.41 miles
- 3904 ft elevation climbing, 3791 ft elevation descent (I KNEW it felt like I climbed more than I descended!!)