East old NM44
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A nice hike on an old abandoned roadway. Round trip length is about 1.9 miles with 250 feet elevation gain.
This is a multicache along an abandoned stretch of what was then NM 44. It is alongside a much improved NM 536, the crest highway. This was part of the route followed by NM 44 before it was somewhat straightened. I first drove it in July 1957 with my wife and year old baby in the back of the 1950 Ford...even standard cars had clearance then. We left the house about 6 pm and got to Sandia Crest after dark...my wife was reading the riot act to me for the last hour before we finally “made the grade”. When this stretch was bypassed by the new and paved NM 44 in the early 60’s, some of us used the North end as a picnic area until it was destroyed by bulldozer. By the way, the road was only paved to the junction of what is now 536/165 at Balsam Glade. The stretch onto the crest was improved (gravel) in late ‘60’s and finally paved about ‘70.
In those days some flat-land turistas got into trouble by looking at the state maps and deciding NM 44 would be a good way to bypass Albuquerque—just turn off 66 onto NM 44 near Sedillo then take the shortcut NM 44 through Sandia Park to Placitas to Bernallilo and on to Farmington. It took the state years to change the Bernalillo East section to NM165 and NM 536. The section from Sandia Park to I40 is now NM306 on some maps although not signed as such.
There is limited parking available 1.82 mi above the Doc Long entrance at N35 10.887, W106 23.487, please do not park along the highway. After parking, walk up the canyon about 250 feet to N35 10.846, W106 23.516 then turn right (North)—you are now on old 44. On the way you will pass a weather station and a nice peach tree in the middle of the road. When coming to forks in the road, always take the lower ones, although you won't get lost if you don't. Google Earth has a great view of this road and adjoining gravel/rock quarries.
The first stage is a set of coordinates engraved on a red metal dog tag hanging about eye level, very near the North end. The coordinates for the second stage put you at the lower end of an old culvert---go 30 feet at 245 degrees true to find the head of the culvert, an old masonry structure. There the coordinates for the final are engraved on a black metal dog tag hanging about eye level. Final stage is an ammo box.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum