Monday, November 02, 2015

Roadtrip Day 115

Roadtrip Day 115

10/31 Saturday

Happy Halloween! I have my kendo gear with me, so I guess I have a pretty good costume, despite being on the road. Ha!

After cruising in late(er than their hours) yesterday and getting settled for one night in site 21, we woke and got to the Visitors’ Center promptly at 8:30 when they opened to try for additional nights in this site. A poor, dead Titanic victim let us in and a lovely good witch set us up for three additional nights in this campsite. Hooray for costumed National Park staff. While we were there, we also signed up for the morning shuttle for tomorrow to the top of the park where we’ll take the 5ish-mile long, steepish hike from the top back to the Visitors’ Center. We did this hike with the girls about a decade ago and it’s magnificent. My knees are not as good now as they were then but I’ll make it.

On the unpleasant side, why do we always get campsites next to loud motherfuckers? We got set up efficiently last night, fired up the heater, had our dinner, then settled in. Schmuck with a BIG voice was pontificating to his campmates til after midnight. We jokingly talked about getting up at 7 and making noise but at 7 we were still snuggled up and HE was up, continuing his jeremiad.

Oh well.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day now. Still chilly but warming up as Ra takes his rightful place in the heavens. We decided to hike the Silver Spur Meadow Trail to Faraway Ranch, which used to be a private ranch in the late 1800s, soon after the Apaches who’d been led Cochise and Geronimo surrendered, and then was turned into a dude ranch from WWI until the 70s. The NPS acquired it after it folded.

Our timing was serendipitous. We got there while a ranger was waiting to do a guided tour of the house. It was a bit past time for the tour to start and no one had shown up. We were the only ones there so we got a private tour. It was delightful. Nice to have a ranger all to yourself to explore a place which originated in the European-American settlements of the post-Indian-Wars years and which had been a dude ranch until the 70s.

I wish I’d spent a week there before it closed. Years ago, after our visit here with the girls, we looked at one dude ranch nearby which did trail rides here in the park. That would have been so cool; but they, too, have since ceased operating. Woulda been just the kids and me probably, given Ronnie’s allergies. Who knows? We still might do a dude ranch vacation someday – the girls and me to the dude ranch and Ronnie could have a week doing something she’d like to do that didn’t involve dying from lung failure.

After that, it was back to camp for some lunch. We decided on tuna salad sandwiches. I added some chopped shallots to it and I used some wasabi on mine (Ronnie opted for no wasabi - grin) along with sliced extra-sharp cheddar. Chased it with a Coke into which I squeezed a whole fresh lime. Mmm-mmmmm! I skipped the rum but thought about it. Yes, I did. Now it’s bath and generator time. No showers here, so we’re doing our sit-bath thing with water boiled on the stove and using a large plastic bin for a tub while assisting each other with the rinsing task. It really works pretty well.

Clean and refreshed, we figure it’s time for some relaxation and changing into evening clothes, meaning warmer stuff than the shorts and T-shirts we were sporting after our hike. With the sun falling fast toward the horizon, Boreas begins whispering through the trees. Mini-nilla wafers and eggnog make for a delightful afternoon snack while I compose this post.


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