My wife, who was feeling a little under the weather decided to stop . Seamus the Scottie and I went on, first down and then up,up,up. At this the point we got on a wrong use trail that took us out on the exposed west facing hill side. The " real" trail always stays right on the ridge, weaving in out of the rocks. We had made one minor peak and then another at lung busting speed for me- when we saw Caballo Cone looming large; still several hundred feet above us, and quite a distance( checking later it was about 3/4 of a mile) away. I crunched the numbers in my head, and decided that it would take about an hour and a half to summit and return to the spot I was at. I already been gone about 25 minutes which would mean being gone from where I left my wife for close to 2 hours. That wouldn't be good. Since we started late( just after noon), the extra time might mean steep descent with unsure footing in the waning light. That wouldn't be good either.
Disappointed, as I watched a lone hiker stretching on the distant peak, I turned around. We lost the trail briefly on an uneventful, but windy return. Afterwards, there was a soak at Hay yoh Kay Hot Springs that helped me get over my disappointment- for now. I'm already planning a return. This is a really nice hike with views of T or C, Elephant Butte Lake, and the many mountains ranges; the San Mateos, the San Andres, the Magdalenas and the Black Range, that rise up in the distance. Round trip distance is probably a little over 5 miles, but the elevation gain is close to 2000 feet.