Sometimes I don’t stop and think. I eventually realized that I could not take the route I had planned north this spring, at least the first 150 miles of it. I was planning to take 5 or 6 weeks to hike the area and the route didn’t take me near any decent grocery stores. For one thing, I would need a cooler to supplement my fridge. I don’t presently have the room for one. There would have also been the additional bulk and pounds of dry supplies. And then there’s water. A week’s supply weighs 112 lbs (2gal/day at 8lbs/gal – water’s a pound a pint). My rig is already overloaded. The Cherokee already gets into the edge of the red zone on mountain gradesnot a good thing. Weekly water runs with the Jeep wouldn’t have been a problem and I can get a month out of two 5 gal propane tanks so I wouldn’t be looking for propane. Looks like I might break down next winter and look for used 8 cylinder for more power and a design with more carrying capacity so I can stay off the grid for longer periods. I don’t want to be restricted again next year.
Came back down to Silver City for supplies after a couple weeks and took another route out of town. Rt152 was pretty twisty with many posted 10 and 15 mph curves. The canyon becomes very narrow and there are no forest roads suitable for disperse camping. The 4 campgrounds up there are close to the road. I stopped at the third one just past mile marker 27 at an elevation of 7100’. At least Railroad cg is behind a large hill that cuts off road noise. Early one morning I ran up the road to check out Iron Creek campground. Not any better but a lot of Ponderosa pines (yellow pine). Not campgrounds one would want to spend time at unless you were going to hike the trails in the spring or fall. Railroad cg has a trailhead to Gallinas Canyon #129 (pictured), Railroad Canyon #128, Holden Prong Saddle, East Railroad Canyon, Hillsboro Peak, and Black Range Crest. A NICE week’s worth of hiking. A lot of water though. Just from the trailhead to the Gallinas Canyon trail junction at 1½ miles, you’ll cross the creek 22 times. A lot of stone stepping and log walking this time of year. Quite a few pools to sit down in and soak, sure wish it was warm enough for it. Iron Creek cg also has a trailhead. The 4 campgrounds are free. You have to bring your drinking water with you (the Gila forest service office in Silver City has a spigot just to the right of the front door). There are posted quiet hours in the campgrounds but no campground hosts to enforce them. Wouldn’t want to stop here in the summer or on weekends.
It’s not often that we camp by a creek so it can be a treat. I placed my fire pan, chair, and stool down by the creek. Stellar spot for morning coffee and evening wine. This lifestyle is SO tough. Watched a hummingbird hover over the creek drinking water one day. Way cool.
Whenever Meadow and Onyx went out, they crossed the creek and explored the hillside. M/O both frequently hung out on the rocks in the creek. Sure hope Onyx does not pick up giardia again. Guess I’ll have to start watching his poop. That’s always fun. What better incentive could one possibly have for bounding out of bed in the morning and spreading one’s arms wide to the world and give thanks for the pure joy of it all!?
Two campers pulled in the day before I headed out. Gael and Cherie were in a popup camper. Gael lives in NM and Cherie was out on a visit from PA. I enjoyed talking with them, good people. They were spending a week camping and hiking in the Gila’s.
I’ve heard of long commutes to work but driving to Texas and flying to SE Arizona is a bit much. At least working 3 days and having 4 off each week is good. This lady must definitely be good at what she does.
I finally got around to hooking up a Sirius radio in the casita. Only took me 4 months, I kept procrastinating about getting an antenna for my CD/radio unit (never used the radio). I purchased a Starmate 5 back in January. It was the only model that offered the basic $7/month plan. Figured I should start out with this since I had no idea if I was going to like it. It sure is nice to listen to at times. Every once in a while I catch an episode of The Shadow on the Classic Radio Shows channel. For a good deal of the year I don’t have much in the way of radio reception and if there is any, it’s country western or Spanish. Satellite is good.
Ever read any books by Daniel Pinkwater when you were a young teen? He’s very strange. I recently read ‘Codgerspace⁏ by the New York Times Bestselling author Alan Dean Foster. Set WAY in the future, these five retired people stumble into an alien spaceship that had been buried for a million years under the area next to their retirement community. It’s a big ship200 kilometers (yes, kilometers) long. It caused quite a stir when it broke out of the ground, lifted off and hovered in the area. The authorities soon learned that it was crewed by a handful of old people who had recently been playing checkers and gardening. The book’s a hoot and all along I’m thinkin’ Daniel Pinkwater must have written this.
Then one has the road all to themselves and the view is better...
and one gets to make their own decisions.
Like life, every road trip is an adventure;
one never knows what the day (or next turn) will bring.’
RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’
FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006