It’s been about six weeks since my last post. A lot of distance has been covered in that time. Internet opportunities for post writing have been very few and far between. I did manage to figure out how to post the odd photo to facebook, but using a cellphone for blogging has proven to be too tedious for me. However, last night, the cold weather conditions in the southwest finally provoked us into moteling it for a night. We’ll be back out camping again tonight because it is too easy to start feeling like you can’t take the cold after two or three nights holed up in a warm motel room.
Anyhow, to bring everyone up to speed, I left Ontario in mid October, crossing into the northeast states and making my way across the Midwest. I will probably write a post about that part of my trip sometime soon. It was not particularly enjoyable, but noteworthy for a couple of reasons which I may get to in time. In about seven days of pretty hard driving, I reached Bisbee. Once landed, very little time was wasted unloading a few things, and repacking the van. Larry joined Sage and me for a month long journey through the southwest. More about that coming up in future posts, but Larry has also begun putting up posts on his blog.
Our trip began with a drive through Rattlesnake Gap, to camp among the Ponderosa pines at the Black Jack primitive campsite in Mule Creek Pass. The next morning, we proceeded on to Glenwood, New Mexico in the Gila National Forest. We stopped off to walk along the Catwalk National Recreation Trail. Unfortunately, only about a fifth of the trail was open due to ongoing maintenance but it was still worth the side trip to walk through the canyon with its strange pinkish-gray chiseled cliffs and towering white-skinned Sycamore trees. Along the trail, we also found massive willows with deeply cleft bark.
The trail begins with a level walk but soon leads up and down over stone steps that follow the course of the rushing creek. The stone trail then switches to a steel catwalk that zigzags as it clings to the canyon wall. At first, Sage seemed nervous about venturing onto the open grillwork as she could see straight through to the creek below, but after a brief delay, she forged onward. Too bad the walk just extended a little beyond before coming to the closed section. If I ever return to the area, I will be sure to revisit to walk the entire catwalk.
At the Glenwood Ranger Station, we got some good ideas for camping in the area. After a picnic lunch, we decided to make our way to Pueblo Park campground which is about a six mile drive along a winding single lane forest service road. As we reached the campground, we found a couple of rugged looking men readying several mules for a trip up into the surrounding mountains. They waved, probably wondering what brought us down this isolated road so late in autumn. My guess is that they were off to do some elk hunting, while we were there in search of solitude.
We set up camp and then went for a walk along a well-marked interpretive trail. However, as is so often the case with such trails, there were no brochures to describe the numbered points, so we had to make up our own explanations. The trail meanders through Ponderosa pines and back and forth across a steep-sided dry creek bed which must be quite a sight during the spring snow melts. There is a small pueblo ruin which could easily be missed. We were amused by a trail sign pointing the way to Dangerous Park Trail. Had we more time, we would have explored to see how the trail earned its moniker.
As has been the case so many times on this trip, we had the campground to ourselves and played some fiddle and mandolin before cooking dinner and retiring. After a quiet night, we made breakfast then packed up for another day of driving. The van was escorted along the forest road by an advance troupe of turkeys that seemed reluctant to give way.
I’ll post again next time I have a net connection.