A Travellerspoint blog

Into the Wild

Don't worry, I got back out.

40 °F

large_DSCN6156.jpgDSCN6160.jpgThis is us before I go into the wild. It has just rained and the mountains are misty and beautiful.

There is so much gear and crap to get out of the car that I am, of course, overwhelmed and moving slowly because I don't know what to do first. This is something I'm trying to cure of myself, and this trip actually did the trick. V gets most of it and I carry it into the woods.

I have Perp Jr. (the purple hiking backpack), filled with everything including the tent. I have two plastic bags tied to it filled with more stuff. That reminds me of when we had too much on the back of Perp and we would hang plastic bags on the speakers. I'm carrying the gallon of water and the saddlebag suitcase with the blow up mattress. It was about 150 lbs of stuff. I had fresh fruit, dried fruit, 2 lbs of peanuts, bread, sunflower seeds, and a few other foods. I had no meat. I told V that I would either catch my meat or I'd get skinny.

I am in the mountains north of Sedona in the Coconino National Preserve. The area I'd chosen was gorgeous. There were lush, tall evergreens everywhere and rocky cliffs artfully popping out of these mountain forests. The rocks were mostly standard gray, but there were some white, yellow, and the red rock of the Sedona. It was such a beautiful mix. I told V that parts of the area north of Sedona looked like paradise. All they needed were a bunch of waterfalls pouring over the cliffs. My absolute favorite areas had cabins and houses, so I figured I wouldn't be able to camp there. I settled for an area higher, colder, and not as beautiful. But, as I've learned on this trip, people are very kind and happy in places that others don't want. When you have the best place, you worry about others trying to crowd in or take it. It becomes a big stressful fight. It's often better to go for the second best place nearby because no one notices it.

The pines are tall and healthy, but the forest floor has been cleared haphazardly. Sharp points of roots and bushes are sticking up everywhere and medium sized trees have been cut and piled into teepees everywhere. They should have just had a controlled forest fire. V says that they probably sell the firewood.

I see a trail winding through the woods, back and forth underneath a telephone line only about 15 feet off the ground. I figure that it's animal because that would be a weird trail to make, "Let's get outa town and into nature! There's trees, and birds, and cliffs, and telephone lines?" When it hits the road down a ways I see a trailhead. The sign is an old piece of rusted metal with lettering etched through the metal (probably with a torch). It says, "trail #72 - Telephone." OK...The park service is really running out of ideas.

I grab all 150 lbs of stuff and climb up some rocks; hmm, south facing overhang that fits the tent. But, it's within sight of the trail and blocked by trees. It would be cold. I climb on, but first I take some branches off a cleared pile and cover all the stuff. I'm getting comfortable and relaxed. My vacation is starting. I happily climb.

Posted by - Rain 16:00

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