Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Huachuca bike trip

"I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities."

~Everett Ruess

CHRISTMAS eve 2008; I had planned on spending a lazy day cooking and watching movies then turn in early since I have no wife, girlfriend, kids or family to speak of.

But my adventurous spirit got the better of me and I grabbed my mountain bike & survival gear (camel back HAWG) and Lit out for the Huachuca Mountains abt 10 miles away.

It is a tough ride and uphill all the way from my apartment, I managed to make it into the foothills in about 1 1/2 hours. I was battling wind and rain, and I could see that there was a lot of snow coming down in the higher peaks so I made the decision to set up camp in Brown canyon.

It took me a few minutes to set up my cheap walmart tent, then rig my plastic tarp over it for additional protection.

I grabbed my gear and threw it into the tent, then it was just a matter of riding out the weather.

The gear I had on my bike consisted of tent, plastic sheeting, army goretex bivvy bag, slumberjack summer bag, crazy creek chair, my cook set, 4 knives my trusty old Green river knife named "old butch", my Case hobo, a Swiss army knife with a saw, and my old timer whittling knife.

Type 1 and type 5 nylon(parachute cord's). 1 gallon of water, camera, a light wind suit, extra socks, gloves, beanie cap, ball cap and other misc gear. my food consisted of 3 cans of sardines, instant coffee, sky flake crackers, animal crackers, thai style instant tea, and some candies.

darkness fell pretty quickly so I crawled into my sleeping bag and settled in for the night. I laid there in my sleeping bag listening to the rain hitting my tent and singing Christmas carols to myself.

During the night i could hear several Javalina moving around in the dark and heard the hoot of some owls, I noticed in the morning that a pack rat had stolen the lid to my travel mug.

It turned out to be a rainy, cold and windy night, I stayed in my bag until 1st light then got up to a cloudy Christmas morning.

The time was only about 7 am and since it was not raining I wanted to make some coffee before heading down the mountain. I kindled a small fire from oak and juniper wood using my bic lighter.

sitting in my crazy creek chair I filled my old army canteen cup with water and sat it on the coals to boil.

It was somewhat refreshing to be out in the cold air. I sat there watching wilderness TV(the fire) while the water boiled and munched a few animal crackers for breakfast.

I had done a lot of thinking during the night about Christmases in the past, I came to my own conclusion that it is all and illusion, and created by merchants to sell products.

The necessity people feel to buy and celebrate a false holiday never ceases to amaze me.

I would much rather be sitting alone near a small fire in the beautiful mountains then to be in a house full of people I don't really like or get along with, celebrating a false holiday - just my opinion.

By and by the water boiled and I made myself a full canteen cup or Folgers brand(my personal favorite) instant coffee, ate some animal crackers.

While dining in regal splendor there in the mountain I decided to stay over another night, I still had a little food and plenty of coffee. The only problem was water but I knew where to get that up the trail.

I packed my gear, then locked my bike and hid it in the woods, cached my tent in another area then headed up the trail.

My intention was to go to a spring I knew of and top off my water bottles, do a quick scout around then return to my camp area before dark. As I hiked along I began to see a lot of illegal alien signs, i.e. cast off clothing, candy wrappers, sardine cans etc.

Since I was low on food I made a quick scout around to see if I could locate a "Lay up site" and recover some canned food from the back packs the illegals throw away.

As luck would have it I located a small lay up site and was able to recover 2 cans of re fried beans, and 2 cans of tuna con vertudes(vegetables), a good score!

I stuffed the cans into my pack then continued my hike up to the spring.

Upon arrival at the spring i did as planned, topped off all of my water bottles then hid all but 1 of them.

I emptied out my pack and hid the contents of it along with the water bottles. Taking only food, water, and my bivvy sack I headed up the trail to Carr Peak. There was a bit of snow on the ground but the trail was clear.

Along the way i saw a flock of turkeys(10 i think), they were difficult to count due to their moving around. I also spotted several sonoran Coues deer, and saw plenty of javalina and Bear sign.

Since I had left Camp at about 8am I intended to hike 4 to 5 hours up the trail then turn around and head back to camp so that I would have plenty of light to do so.

It was great to be on the trail and seeing all of the different wild life, the temperature was slightly cool with a biting breeze, I loved it!

I made it all the way to the top of Carr peak 9000 plus feet, but was a little off of my allotted time schedule.

I decided to run back down the mountain to where I had stashed my water and pack contents. Stripping down to my hoody, shoes and pants, I stuffed my wind suit and other clothes in my pack then began my jogging decent.

It was a fairly easy jog down the mountain, I got to the gear stash, recovered my gear and water, then walked the remainder of the trail back to camp as a cool down.

My feet were a little sore By the time I got to camp, I left my bike hidden in the woods but recovered my tent , after pitching it and the rain tarp I again kindled a fire to boil water for coffee.

I remembered the cans of food I had recovered and made the choice to eat tuna and crackers for dinner, washed down with stout black coffee - It was a culinary delite! I finished off the meal with some hard candies for desert.

Thinking abt it I realized that I was eating an international meal - Mexican style tuna, Filipino crackers, american coffee and korean candies. Almost like dining in a 5 star restaurant!

Needles to say i was a little tired that night so I took a swig or two from my whisky flask then crawled into my sleeping bag, I do not remember anything from that night because I slept very soundly.

Early the next morning I got up, mixed instant coffee in my nalgene bottle , drank it cold, packed my gear and headed for home.

It was a good two nights in the woods and great way to spend a "holiday" weekend, I enjoyed it very much.


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