Tracking the mountains and desert of northern New Mexico

Tracking in the Southwest 2016Wild and simple, tough but gentle, the Southwest desert calls. A model for our lives, it reveals its mysteries only if we slow down long enough to really listen and observe. This hiking, camping and tracking journey to the heart and soul of the mountains and desert of northern New Mexico, crossroads of ancient North American migrations, is led by tracking teacher, musician and storyteller John Stokes. The journey offers partictipants a unique opportunity to learn about animal tracking, nature skills, Native cultures and the Arts of Life, while camping out in the land of the Anasazi.

Participants arrive in Albuquerque and are transported to the Circle A Ranch Hostel near Cuba, New Mexico which serves as base camp for the trip. Camping is encouraged, but rooms at the hostel are available for an additional fee. The Circle A Ranch sits on 350 wild acres on the western flank of the San Pedro mountains. It offers the opportunity to track a multitude of animals, from mule deer, elk, and coyote to mountain lion, bear, turkey, fox, and beaver.

We embrace a simple way of being, focusing on tracking skills and aspects of the survival scenario as they apply to the tracker — hard ground tracking techniques, edible /medicinal plants, stalking, camouflage, advanced awareness exercises and primitive technologies. Evenings will be used for music, storytelling and humor around the fire. Cary Odes, professional stand-up comic from Los

Angeles, will be on hand to help us laugh at ourselves and there will be other guest artists, including the Zamora family of the dance troupe Ehecatl, who will introduce us to the world of Aztec energy and dancing.. There will be time for personal R & R, journal writing, etc.

Tracking in the Southwest
Photo by Cary Odes

During the week, we will make a day trip to Chaco Canyon, center of a great complex of Anasazi ruins. We will visit Pueblo Bonito, the great kiva, Casa Rinconada, and other ruins in the Chacoan system. At week’s end, we return to Albuquerque for a closing banquet.

Participants must be in good physical condition and camping experience is preferred. The trip takes place at altitudes of 5,000 – 7,500 feet and is physically demanding. Participants only carry day packs, but we will move quite freely around the mountains.

The trip is limited to 25 people.