Day 3 NNML – Shout of Relief


 “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” —Helen Keller

June 5
Rio Grande River to Upper Frijoles Canyon
12 miles

After much assessment, we decided to launch our packrafts from a small rock cliff. Willows on both banks almost covered in water, lined the banks making it tricky to even get to the river. If you are an Instagramer, I posted before and after videos of our crossing. 

Sally and I agreed to aim for a certain spot on the other side and decided to launch at the same time. Adrenaline was running high and before we even set off, Sally dumped her pack into the river and I almost slipped in. It was super special. 

I have to thank my friend Jodi, for her instruction on reading a river and maneuvering a raft and Drop n’ Roll for loaning me her raft and paddles. Thanks guys. 

After taking off and paddling super intense, I thought, wow this is fun. I could manage the current, and was again reassessing our intended destination. Then I looked down river to find Sally way ahead. Later, she reported that her mouth was dry and thought she would have to meet me in Albuquerque. Ha! 

The next obstacle was thrashing through thick bushes in waist deep water. 

The crossing took up a good part of the morning. 

After a quick celebration and light hearts we entered Bandelier National Monument. 

We decide to take the Frijoles Alternate Route which passes by the visitors center with lots of fresh cool water, nice bathrooms, running creek, and friendly rangers. Also, we bought sandwiches and cold drinks.

The trail up Frijoles Canyon is torn up with downfall from Las Conchas fire and catastrophic flooding, but it is a beautiful canyon. 

Rock outcrop
Before shot
Pack rafts ready to go
Willows we thrashed through in water
Ready for the next stretch
One last look at the Rio

Burro Trail – Bandelier National Monument
Frijoles Canyon Indian Ruins
Evening hike up Frijoles Canyon Trail
Frijoles Canyon
Frijoles Canyon


  1. I can’t remember exactly why I drank from the first crossing. Stupidity! I drank from it at the second crossing because the two tanks before it weren’t working! Desperation :/

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      CHANCCCCCCE!!! Thank you for all the support in this trip. So why did you drink from the Rio Grande?

  2. Glad you two made it across safely. Hope your trails are fun and the heat backs off!

  3. Lucy Grittman

    Great pictures – the heat sounds a bit much tho. Like “going along” with you on this journey!!

  4. Marilyn Mc Alester

    Great work in answering a big challenge! Have you hiked the Lost Coast Trail in northern CA.? Looks wonderful. Mtn Sweep

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Well hello my Lady on a Rock! Yes I hiked it a couple of summers ago. I am more of a mountain girl. The north section was nice.

  5. Tina Hayes


  6. You girls are amazing! Striking out with the unexpected happening as it usually does! Great pictures of you two! Looks like you are having a great time! Keep on hiking! I am impressed with you two! I think hiking is better with a partner than going it alone. Be safe!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Hello Hiking Grandma, This is a hike that I think might be safer shared. Although, some very hard core hikers go it alone. I have really enjoyed our teamwork.

  7. Good shot of you “ready for the next stretch.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *