Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Deirdre Monroe—If you map it, they will come - Full Story

November 2 2015

During her spare time, Lab engineer and endurance rider Deirdre Monroe helped make Santa Fe's Caja del Rio plateau more accessible for hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers and equestrian trail riders.

When the Weapon Systems Engineering Division’s Deirdre Monroe and a horseback riding friend left her horse’s boarding stable on the fringes of Santa Fe to ride west toward the Santa Fe National Forest’s “Caja del Rio Unit” for the first time, she could not have imagined that the “Caja” would capture her heart so dramatically and completely as to turn her into a dedicated endurance rider, Caja advocate, trail developer and cartographer over the next 18 years.

Today, thanks in large part to Monroe’s efforts, the Caja is one of Santa Fe’s best high-desert plateau areas for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and equestrian trail riding.

“Our initial ride took place in 1997,” Monroe recalls. “It was a crystal-clear but chilly fall day as we rode out, just the two of us, over the rolling, piñon-dotted hills that are now developed as part of Santa Fe’s Las Campañas subdivision. We rode past periodic homes at first and then across nothing but open land interrupted by an occasional stock tank for cattle, which was welcome to both of us and our horses...”

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