Two of my favorite hiking groups in Ruidoso are creatively named Trail Snails and Huff N Puffers. Jim Edwards with the Trail Snails and Pam Robinson with the Huff N Puffers are super sources for trail information and great support for our hiking community. I read about Jim’s and the Trail Snails’ trip out to Dog Canyon, T106, and immediately asked Anna – “Are you up for a hike with over 3,000 feet of elevation change?” Anna’s answer is always “Let’s go.” Wholly cow, I love Anna. I think her middle name is let’s go.

Our 4×4 RV, Frosty, was geared to go and we decided to hike Dog Canyon Trail in the Lincoln National Forest from the lowest point of elevation. Our goal was to attack the elevation first! Anna, Frosty and I headed out to Oliver Lee State Memorial Park. After driving through the park three times, Anna finally decided on a perfect spot with electricity and water. The fee was $14 each evening, which we happily paid and set up camp for a few days. The first task on our agenda was to talk with the park ranger to gather specifics of Dog Canyon Trail. She had not hiked the entire trail but graciously found three separate maps for our education. She commented that most people hike 2.9 miles to an old stone cabin and spring then return. We explained that we wanted to hike the entire trail and the ranger warned that the second 2.6 miles were extremely difficult with grades above the 25 percent range. She was correct about the difficulty level but well worth the sore calves we encountered. The incredible views, colors, cliffs, rocks, ridges and especially the challenge were the high points of the hike. The Oliver Lee Ranger also suggested the interpretive trail behind the Visitor’s Center. She recommended hiking off…