It's getting to be that time of the year in southeast New Mexico. The time of the year when the winds kick it up a notch and really start to howl. Despite the wind, I decided I wanted to get out for some adventure. Not wanting to go too far away I opted to see if I could bag the highpoint of my home county: Eddy County, New Mexico. The drive up into the national forest near Queen was uneventful, even if the car was getting moved around due to the wind. I got to the trailhead at around 9:30 and quickly ran into a pair of backpackers and their dog. It must have been a windy night for them last night!
The hike started out an easy one on some of the old forest roads. I passed the turn off to Devil's Den and then Camp Wilderness Ridge. I was heading to the end of the road where my descent into North McKittrick Canyon began a few weeks ago. There a good view of my objective from the end of the road.
Once at the road's end I found the cairned rout that led to the bottom of the canyon and then hiked up to the top of the ridge on the other side. Right away I dropped down into a saddle and had to climb again. This climb was a bit steep, but it went farily quick. Before I knew it I was on top of Eddy County. There were great views of North McKittrick Canyon, Dog Canyon and the Dog Canyon Ranger Station in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
I signed the register, took my photo and then started to head down to get out of the wind.
On the return I decided to head down into North McKittrick Canyon and follow it back to its head instead of hiking back up the ridge I used on the way out. The hiking went quickly and before I knew it I was back on the old road. Not a bad way to spend a windy day.