January 4, 2006
Hiking Viking Update: A Special Report by Guest Author Daren Bloomquist

I hope all the readers of the Viking Underground had a Happy New Year. This should be the final installment from me for a while. The Friday before Christmas I hit two peaks in one day with my eldest daughter. From our starting point of 4400, we followed a ridgeline and had to cross over Pyramid Peak (5261’) on our way to Bishop’s Cap (5419’).

With all the ups and downs along the ridgeline the total elevation gain was about 1600’ and 4 miles in length. I couldn’t tell you what the purpose is for the tower on the top of Bishop’s Cap...other than 30/30 target practice. I can tell you, however, that within the rocks of Bishop’s Cap lie the fossilized remains of ancient crustaceans from when an inland sea covered much of southern New Mexico. We had hoped that making two peaks would deliver Packer and Viking victories that weekend. No such luck.

This past Friday, just before News Year’s Eve, I took my youngest daughter to Aden Crater which lies about 30 miles west of my house. It looks very much like a moonscape. There was very little elevation gain to speak of. With all the climbing up to and within the crater we probably had a total elevation gain of about 500’. My daughter and I raised the flag on the deepest floor of the crater,.......

AdenCrater 033.jpg

....and later our group walked the rim above the crater.

The crater is about 1 mile in circumference. Within the crater, and not far from the crater floor, is a 110 foot deep volcanic vent. The mummified remains of a giant sloth were found at the bottom and are now on display at the Smithsonian. Aden Crater is a shield volcano that produced lava flow some 10,000 years ago.

Well that’s all for now folks. Stay tuned for more updates if COD finds them worthy. I will continue hiking and raising the flag on every hike I undertake. A hike of note this coming spring will be the Bataan Memorial Death March hike here in Southern New Mexico. It is a 26.2 mile hike that I completed (and regretted) a few years ago. I’m in better shape now and want to do it without physically empathizing with those who endured that dreadful event over 60 years ago. So long for now…your friendly Hiking Viking in Las Cruces, NM.

Coming Thursday

Fantasy recap and a new VU fantasy playoff game!

Coming Friday

A podcast with the head Washington Redskin Hoggette. We'll find out just what we missed out on with regard to Gregg Wiliams. We'll talk about owners in the NFL. And we'll talk some playoff football.

Posted by maasx003 at January 4, 2006 6:26 AM