|*Sunrise on the Santa Rita Peaks in Arizona*|
Yup... after careful and thoughtful consideration tempered by a bit of fuel cost cogitation...
...we decided to brave the altitude of Madera Canyon; And climb up to the towering heights of 5,000 feet in the Arizona High Up and Lonesome. ;)
The road into this camp might be a lil' intimidating if you ain't been here before...
Along with a shallow ford, you've got to climb over a few pretty sharp humps, maybe three or four feet high... I'd guess if you're pushin' a forty foot, or even a bit less, rig... you'll high center 'fore you can cross 'em.
Truth be known, gettin' into some of the spots to camp might cause trouble with anybody draggin' a fiver with a Fifth Wheel hitch. When you're truck leans 6 degrees east... and your trailer is leanin' 5 degrees west... and your hitch only has five, maybe 7 degrees of side tilt... ooooowheeee! You put some torque on frames... for sure and for certain...
... another of the reasons I use the gooseneck hitch conversion setup... no bind... no worries!
Pullin' in to this site, the truck was climbing and leaning left... the 5er was nose down sharp and leaning right... and the only thing I was concerned with was runnin' into my scooter! ;)
With camp set we unhitched and took a quick scout up canyon. The last time we were here to Madera Canyon was in the summer of '85. It's been a while. 'fore that... it was cowboyin' in the '60's!
Had a bit of a sad moment climbing the canyon too... Some adventurous pilgrim had built a snowman, right directly in the middle of the lane... stick arms and all...
... well... that lil' pile of snowflakes was juuuuuuust a might taller than the punkin's on the truck's axles...
He kinda lost his head and quite a lil' below it as we passed... yup... snow-a-cidal yondering cowboy! ;)
They had a bit more snow here than we'd gotten at the Pima County Fairgrounds... It was pretty plain that they'd even had to run a plow over the trail...
Part way up the canyon is a cabin converted to a gift shop... The place just caught my imagination. Don't it just strike you as having the flavor or some sort of a fairytale cabin in the woods?
Had a conversation with a pair of Canadian couples; The first out of Quebec, and the second from Manitoba; when we got back to camp and were gonna head out on a walk... They asked was there any wildlife around here...
I should smile. You got Coatimundi, Mule deer, rattle snakes, black bear, cougar, birds of a few dozens kinds and sorts including Turkeys... get just south and east they've had Jaguar wandering back across the border out of Mexico...
The Feds have been trying for some time to inflict Mexican Grey wolves on the folks here... kinda like what they done up Montana way. They've kinda run into an unexpected problem here though. The folks down here are... uh... let's say a lil' less... um... tolerant of Federal Impositions. You might have noticed that in OTHER political disputations.
Well... after several tries... it seems that every wolf transplanted has come down with a severe and fatal case of heavy metal toxicity. Yup... juuuuuuuust a lil' bit of civil disobedience in Arizona.
Some of the other Wildlife 'round here is the sort I'm intimately familiar with...
I'll tell you what... drop a rope onto the calf of one of these eared sows and you juuuuuust might have an experience you can call Western!
It was just a few miles north of this spot in these same mountains; near what was then the ghost town ruins of a place called Helvetia when I was just 14; I remember racin' up a dry creek bed, tied hard and fast ( a green kids mistake) with an angry bovine of the female variety hot on my horse tail... slingin' a rack just like that one! Yes sir! Western!
But for a Cowboy, this is what makes all the mud and dust;
The cold and the poor pay...
The broken bones and the long days... worth every drop of sweat.
Fresh calves in the spring time.
Evey winter a cowboy says; This is the last one.
Every Spring he says; One more year.
We walked west from camp up the road to see what we could see...
The sun shining and the dogs able to lope through the grass... the Sierrita Mountains across the valley... the other side of Green Valley.
... as always... goin' out... down hill... is always easier than the turn around at the end-O-day and climbin' the grade comin' back. I'm not sure we've fully ree-coo-pur-eighted from that flu! ;)
From our camp you look out across over Green Valley... and you see the mines against the Sierritas on the other side...
You can juuuuust see the angle of the dumps of one mine under the branches of the tree on the right... if you zooooooom in and look a mite to the left...
... You'll see the dumps of the mine I spent 'bout 6 years at. I helped pile up a goodly bit of that rock you see in the dumps above... Duval mine. Is where I picked up my wheeze and pro-pen-si-Tee for bronchitis and Noo-Moan-ya. That rocks dust don't do a feller much good. Even if it comes with a fat pay check.
One of those two mines was used as the base camp for the Holnists in Kevin Costners "The Postman". It looks a lot like the pit I worked in... but... I've not been able to get farther than the pit used is/was owned by Park Electrochemical Corporation.
There's a lot of history for me 'round this country... a lot of it I can't tell you about though... The statute of limitations ain't run out yet! ;)
Gonna be settin' right here in my Home Country for at least a week. It feels good.
Another Day in the West
Yep, always nice to spend some time at " home" but it isn't long before the itch to move on begins again.
What a shame that the ones who "dumped" the wolves there can't get a dose of heavy metal.
Aw Howie! I was trying to ignore the itch for a bit ;)
Bamagurl; Don't get me wrong, I'm not against wolves. My difficulty is with gross imbalance. Either extinction one way or prohibtion to defend your stock and your livelihood the other... And also with promoting and introducing radicalky un-natural varieties as natural.
If... They'd inject some balance and understanding into their "restorations" they would meet with much more harmonious success.
I've heard it said and I believe it has much truth; "I think they don't love those animals as much as they hate people."
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