Hiking, Horses and Hazardous Places

Wickenburg was hiking, hiking and more hiking, but don’t take that as a complaint…absolutely not. I love to get out and walk, and trot, and run, or just go at whatever pace my leash allows. Here in the desert, I don’t actually mind the leash, because it’s often too warm or rocky or filled with spikey plants to want to do more than a slow jog anyway. We spent nine days camped near Wickenburg and we hiked for two hours every day, and only once did we cover the same trail. Wanderlust doggie paradise! Some days we did two hours in the morning, other days an hour in the morning and another hour around sunset. I sure appreciated the attention to walking in the cool hours. Have you ever tried wearing a black fur coat on a hot, sunny day? Ya, well, I don’t recommend it. When I was young it seemed like a smart idea to be well-dressed for any occasion, but that was before we started spending winters in the south.

Hiking Majestic Trail

Another plus about the stay in Wickenburg…no truck time other than a short road trip to Congress, Yarnell and Peeples Valley. And it wasn’t so bad, just 20 miles or so and a nice walk around Yarnell before lunch.

Crazy big spurs on the way to Congress.

For two days the camping area across the road from us filled to the brim with horses, horse trailers and horse people. If I wasn’t such an honest guy, I’d tell you I was hoping we were joining in on one of the trail rides, ready and raring to go, but I wasn’t. Following a group of horses through the desert in the heat all day was not something I was keen to do. I was so relieved when Teresa and Nollind just watched them ride by as they headed into the hills. Embarrassment averted.

The horse camp.

On our last day in camp, Tuesday, I was lying on the couch when I heard a familiar sound. I could hardly believe my ears. It sounded just like our old truck, the one we drove south the last two trips. But how could that be? Chico heard it too and wondered if it had somehow followed us. Right dude, that’s what happened. He’s so young. Anyway, we all went outside and there it was, Rocky the Chev. Even more surprising was who climbed out…our friend Darren! What a terrific surprise! I was sorry he hadn’t brought Roxy with him (one of my many girlfriends) but happy to see him nonetheless. It was a day of hanging in the shade and visiting followed by a long walk late in the afternoon up to Vulture Peak.

Oops, didn’t realize the camera was above me.

Post-hike nap.

The drive to Yuma on Wednesday was remarkably relaxing. I’m not sure what came over me but I seemed to find some kind of weird zen state and didn’t suffer the usual uncontrollable shaking and panting. I think I even nodded off for a bit. But don’t tell Nollind. I don’t want him thinking I’ve stopped supervising his driving. No telling what would happen.

For the next three days we stayed in the Quechan Casino RV parking area just across the border into California and a stone’s throw from the Mexican border. I hardly slept. Did you know that the Canadian and U.S. governments have had travel advisories in place for Mexico for years, especially the border regions? And where do my people decide to set up camp…a 5-minute drive from the border crossing to Los Algodones. They even went down there one day, leaving Chico and I at the trailer. I spent the day devising a plan for our rescue if they didn’t return. They did, laughing and smiling and carrying packages. You’d think they’d just been on a little shopping outing. You know, I started to believe their assurances of safety until the smoke and gunfire started. Seriously…there were clouds of smoke billowing into camp from the Mexico side of the border and on the last day regular gunshots coming from somewhere to the south. It may have been still on the U.S. side but it didn’t matter to me. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Teresa opened the truck door yesterday morning and I almost knocked her over jumping in.

Smiling like fools after Mexican food and margaritas in Los Algodones.

We’ve moved further north now, to an RV resort on the Salton Sea that we visited last year. The air is clear and so far I’ve not heard a single shot–slept like a puppy last night.

 

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