Monthly Archives: October 2019

Hidden in the Woods

I have a special spot. It is not well known, nor frequented. Its access is easy.  It is comfortable, trees tower above, grass and mountain flowers carpet the ground among pine needles.

I make sure not to make tracks, or develop a trail. I make sure to not let anyone on the highway see me enter the forest. Sure people find it, there is actually a path worn through it.

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Hutch’s Pool: Part II

2019-05-18

 

Day II:

It is very pleasant to open sleepy eyes to overhead gnarly oak trees above my head. The overcast that has been clinging to these high mountains has melted away. I remember the full moonlight from the night before. A grey moonlight, that I thought might keep me awake, didn’t stand a chance after such an active day on the trail and climbing around through and over the plethora of rock formations. DF lies beside me. I turn my head as she turns hers. Her eyes are peaceful.

The waterfall sound of the creek rushing through the boulders, washing away its channel through the Earth continues on. A few birds call out. A turtle dove, or “tortolita” coos. Nothing wrong here. We stretch.

I’d forgotten the foam mattresses, which keep the air mattresses from sliding, but we agree that we slept well, even though not tight spoons as usual. We’re ready for a wonderful day, a celebration of life, a birthday. The sun is nearly exactly where it was the day that I was born. This old tree is shading us today.

We are thinking about heading back today. We have put off the decision and brought extra food, just in case. We are feeling the effects of our first backpack foray of the year, a groan here and there. The day and circumstance are beautiful. We would have to leave early to make the 4:30 shuttle, or walk another four miles on pavement. We have appointments the following day and would have to get up and away early….

I ask myself, how would I like to spend my birthday? Pushing a timetable, or making the most of now and putting strife aside?

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Hutch’s Pool: Day I

2019-05-17

We arrived for the first the shuttle at Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. We had had to wait out the weather.

There had been a nearly full moon the night before to walk up to the last shuttle stop. It can be a beautiful hike, but for the asphalt for miles and breaking rules about pitching a tent. We decided that for the five bucks to ride the shuttle, we would ride past the tourists, enjoy the views and be fresh. The tourists will be gone sooner, and we will be on the trail and free.

We are heading up to Hutch’s Pool for a night or two. I have a Birthday to celebrate in proper attire. I want to be with my favorite friend and enjoying my favorite activities. The pool is a favorite, about four miles hike for us. There are clouds over the Catalina Mountain range this morning, but the forecast is sunny. The grey covering is beginning to dissolve as the sun breaks through.

We place our packs on the back seat of the shuttle and listened to the descriptive recording along the way, as we watch the beautiful canyon pass by. The driver is friendly and helpful. I think back years to the last time that I had ridden the old shuttle and the driver’s voice had been our guide. Each one had had a different personality and enthusiasm. This recording sounded like one of those typical Disney movie narrators.

I was surprised as this recording mentioned plans for a dam a few decades ago. It would have killed all that fans out below Sabino Canyon and bury the rest of this wonder under water! Fortunately the funds dried up, so the water didn’t and the catastrophe was averted.

I watch the familiar places pass and remember my first trips up into this canyon. We used to be able to drive up and park on the side of the road before the shuttle. Hidden behind the giant boulders, we would drink cheap wine, smoke and skinny-dip. These days, 1.3 million visitors each year populate our old playground.

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