My dog, Bolt, was over her I-think-I'll-throw-up-the-bone-I-scarfed-down-in-3-seconds pukies, so she got to go this time.
We drove up to the trail head, only to find it was closed in December.
UH. It's not even snowing! This is the best time of year to hike, what's up with THAT?
So we found our own trail down the road a bit ;)
(better adventure anyway, I say...)
My friend said she had ridden her horse on this trail a couple years ago...and remembered it being pretty spectacular. ...so off we went.
I think we ended up hiking 5 miles that day... nice and uneventful... with only a sunbathing lizzard spooking us. We did make a few mental notes concerning the purchase of some Camel-baks and better fitting jeans for carrying heavy pistols. Don't want to moon the coyotes, now do we?
I should have taken a picture of my dog when we got home... it's hard to wear her out, but when she walked in the house; she got a huge drink of water, made a beeline for the couch ...then laid across the top of it, like a cat, with her legs hanging over the sides ...and slept for a couple of hours.
hehee. Funny dog.
One of the nice views from way up high...
Then there was Day 3.We decided to hike a different canyon... weren't up for the peak of the last one yet, and needed a more level trail to condition on. ...or recover from the last hike...or something.
We got to the parking area of the trail heads... normally, there aren't too many people up there, but today the Army was training.
Bolt saw men in uniforms and lunged out of the car barking. (she never plays hard to get. ?? ha ha) They didn't flinch... they were too busy drawing circles in the dirt. But they did glance at our pistols..
I can't help my curiosity... I asked what they were up to.
"Training ma'am... we're practicing our tracking skills."
Oh. Good. Backup if we get lost...
Off we went... leaving the Army to deal with the footprints today.
We got about a half mile in and came across an older couple picking up trash and had come upon what appeared to be a homeless persons temporary campsite.
There was a creepy sign that read I'M WATCHING YOU...
The couple told us about some good spots to hike... and also how some recent illegals had completely trashed the ridge just above us. Garbage, backpacks, old blankets, water jugs... trash everywhere.
They both said we would almost cry to see the mess it was if we were to hike up there... there's not enough volunteers or manpower to keep up with it. The news reports it somewhat... but most people don't understand the extent of the problem until they actually come here.
These mountains and canyons are some of our nations most pristine forest lands...but illegals constantly trash them...
We did talk with the couple a little about the hunters in the area. (In AZ, you just have to be 1/4 mile away from houses to shoot pretty much anywhere) ... people hunt near the trails because they can hunt in the canyons where the big deer are... but I'm not sure they all passed hunter safety.
I have a friend who has lived up in this canyon for over 20 years. On a previous hike with her, she told me she's had bullets whiz by her more than once... I thought she was exaggerating at first. Then we met 3 hunters a couple miles up the trail. One was pale. A pale Mexican is unsettling to look at. He said he just shot across the trail in our direction. He told us a few times, like he was trying to get over the shock of us being there.
We thanked him for being a bad shot.
OK. I believe her now.
A couple friends and I got permits from the ranger station to gather firewood... we're going out to gather wood for winter this weekend. I didn't think I looked like a deer, but I think I'll wear my orange Remington ball cap in case Red-neck Jose is out there hunting again.