Field Trips to Dale Ball Trails with El Camino Real Academy 4th Graders, May 19-20, 2015

Charlie O’Leary gives the signal for Mr. Bass’s kids to try out the whistles on their new packs (and now, STOP!)

Thanks to the continuing support of the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, and working through Communities in Schools Coordinator Shawna Jones, SFCT arranged for another round of field trips for fourth-graders from the Camino Real Academy.  This time, three classes visited the north section of Dale Ball Trails on May 19-20.  Two of the classes were primarily Spanish-speaking.

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Mr. Bass’s Fourth-Grade Class, ready to go at the Sierra del Norte Trailhead

This time we had new packs, water bottles, hats, sunscreen, and compasses to distribute to the hikers, thanks to the S.L. Gimbel foundation, which also covered transportation costs, as in the past.  Most of these fourth-graders also joined us last Fall, up the flanks of Picacho Peak, and will now earn two of the four stickers for their “Passport to Santa Fe’s Foothill Trails,” one for Dale Ball South and one for Dale Ball North.

After some orientation and a hiking safety talk at the trailhead map, we headed up around the northeast loop past junctions 1 and 2 to the junction with the La Piedra Trail.  Snack time was spent up at a beautiful overlook at the first junction on the La Piedra Trail, with an explanation of the mountains, towns, and other sights within view.  The total hike was a rugged 2.5-3.0 miles, but there were no complaints from these seasoned hikers.  Final hiker count, over two days: sixty students or siblings, three parents, three teachers, and two SFCT staff members on our wonderful city trails.

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You are Here! At the junction with the La Piedra Trail

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At home in the hills: Mr. Bass’s class made it all the way down to the Arroyo de la Piedra.

Getting oriented at the La Piedra overlook (2).

Getting oriented at the La Piedra Trail overlook (1)

Mr. Tyson’s class at the La Piedra overlook

All smiles for the bus ride home (thanks again to the S. L. Gimbel Foundation!)

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Miss Young’s Class, ready to hit the trail

Friendly fellow trail users

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Making way for the mountain biker

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Half time is snack time at the La Piedra overlook

Worn-out kids return to the trailhead