Roadtrip Day 116
Thank Hypnos for a good night’s sleep. And the propane heater. We left it on all night and it came on with some regularity. Kept things from getting too chilly. We both woke before the alarm we had set to get ourselves up and ready and to the Visitors’ Center for the 9AM shuttle to the top. We dressed somewhat warmly because it was cold right then but we knew it’d warm up as the day progressed while we were exerting. We drove on over to the Center, checked in at the desk, and caught the shuttle.
When we got to the top, with three other shuttle passengers, we stripped off most of our warmer gear cuz the sun was warm and burgeoning and there was no significant chill to the breeze. I was in shorts and a T-shirt with a long thermal shirt over it and had double socks and my gaiters on my lowers. Started down the Echo Canyon trail which would take us to Upper Rhyolite which would take us to Lower Rhyolite and back to the Visitors’ Center, a total of 5ish miles.
We started down the trail among all those incredible rock formations. Didn’t take us too long before we stripped down. I got rid of my thermal shirt, the gaiters, and the outer socks. I’d worn my watchcap (knit cap) riding up but packed it in favor of sun hat and sunglasses at the very start of the hike. The entire Echo Canyon trail winds among those fabulous rock formations. Stunning. We eventually got to Echo Canyon itself and a change in terrain and biome. Still lovely with wonderful views of the rocks formations but changing from being in the pure heart of the rocks.
By the time we got to Upper Rhyolite, it was time for a sit-down lunch. We chose a pleasant spot with a good mix of warm sun and cool shade and passed a pleasant time. Hiking Upper Rhyolite was pretty with impressive views of the rocks. Getting down to Lower Rhyolite we were basically in a riparian environment on mostly-level trail and the pleasure of it came from views of the rocks and – surprise! – a view which opened to the lower valley and out to the plains beyond and the mountain range beyond that.
The entire trip we could easily imagine Magnus Colorado, Cochise, Geronimo, and their people living in this area and using it as a defensive stronghold against the genocidal U.S. and Mexican invaders. This entire day, we also had to keep recalculating what time it actually was. With Daylight Savings changing to “Fall Back” last night but Arizona not participating in Daylight Savings at all, we had to keep rethinking whether it was 1PM or noon or 2PM. Ball of confusion!
Anyway, it was a wonderful hike and a beautiful day. Now we’re back at camp, resting and running the genny for some power for all our electronics and to recharge the trailer’s deep-cycle battery. Might be 2pm or 3 or 4. I have no fucking idea; but the sun is warm and nuturing, some of the trees are showing Fall colors, and many of the weekend campers have checked out, leaving the campground quieter.
Hiking boots off, sitting crosswise on the dinette bench so my legs are up, and with a nest of pillows at my back, I am contentedly recovering from our exertions of the day. Squirrels and birds have no fear and surround us in great numbers. We’ve also seen a momma deer and her youngster right nearby both morning and evening, so I’ll be looking for them as Apollo dives toward the Western horizon. I think I’ll just enjoy the beauties of the campsite for a while now. Later it’ll be time to switch to warm clothes, have dinner, and maybe see just how the slaughter of the vampires is coming for my now-aggressive legionaries.