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Friday, February 8, 2013

Curve Of The Earth Views From The Summit of Mount Wrightson



Come join us! We are snug, at 5000 feet above the ever-rising sea level, in a small but site-spacious Forest Service campground in Madera Canyon. Mount Wrightson towers overhead, snow capped, some 5000 additional feet higher and thirty degrees colder. It is our annual pilgrimage/duty to summit the Old Man, to honor his Mountain Spirit, and the kindred souls that thrive within us.
 
For a mere five dollars per night, we have a clean restroom, fresh water, and legs-reach proximity to the diverse flora and fauna that makes this sky island in the middle of the the Sonoran Desert special. There are more birds around here than you can remember... and bear, mountain lion, bobcat, wild turkey, Coati Mundi. There are ever-green live oaks... with a full branch-head of leaves... defying winter, and towering ponderosa, various species of juniper and cedar, sundry bushes and cacti... all watered by a perineal and bouldered brook... and yes, if you will indulge my tendency to over-alleterate, it "babbles!" Heard it with my own two ears.

The sprinkles on our ice cream is that Maikel and Susan are Airstream camped up the hill. So we have funny and fun-loving hiking, biking and gourmet beer/picnic buddies close at hand. Life is Good (smile, burp)

Granted, five thousand feet is high for winter camping, even in southern Arizona. But our weather has been absolutely perfect for the past five days... perfect. That's what can happen if you are willing to risk long pants and light jacket in exchange for possibilities... the chance to have an ideal camping experience in a place you would not normally consider. Snowbirds need to be more adventurous; temperatures in the 60's are not fatal! That said, weather is in the process of changing as I peck out this post. Who knows, maybe we'll wake up to snow this weekend. Wouldn't that be nice? 

Beyond flora and fauna, another reason we return to Madera Canyon is that it's ripe with trails. One in particular leads to the summit of Mount Wrightson. It's a challenging 5.5 mile trek... rocky, snowy, icy... but worthy of all the post-tramatic toll it takes on my creaking body. We laid a plan to get a crack-of-dawn start, but surrendered to reality, thanks to the previous night's fine Lagunita's IPA's. We ended up fumbling out the door around 9:30 (yawn), squinting into an over-bright sun. Yet another trail, paved with good intentions.

There is no such thing as a "bad day" when one is on the road... living their dream... and drawing a deep breath of fresh, pine scented air. Now let's get our backsides up to the summit of 9,453 foot Mount Wrightson for one of the top ten views I've ever taken in.



























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12 comments:

  1. Mark and Bobbie, There were beautiful views. The sky was clear, wind nearly minimal and company great.
    Cheers
    Maikel

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  2. Laverne here:

    Now, it sounds like you are living the good life...and the pictures are thrilling to see. I have enjoyed (and agree with) your recent posts. I wish a really good statesman would come along and teach the blowhards who run (and ruin) our great country, how this country should be. There are no excuses! Happy trails to you, Bobbie and your friends.

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  3. Wow! Your pictures are great! They inspire us to go places we might not otherwise have known about.

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  4. Great shots! But I question going that far south to hike in snow! ;^) -scamp

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  5. Wow! Amazing view! Great climb through the snow. Love the B&W's!
    Had to do a little search since I had no idea where Mt. Wrightson was located. Not form this area.

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  6. Awesome pictures thanks for taking us along on the hike.

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  7. I turned 69 this month and if I was married to a good looking brunette who wears pretty red underwear at the hot pools, I would also be climbing Mount Wrightson. Great pictures.

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  8. Outstanding shots! Very inspiring. I was intrigued by your description of the area, so did some digging and I'm thinking you're staying at Bog Springs Campground? Looks neat, but probably not accessible for our beastly size. I'll have to find another way to get there.
    Nina

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  9. OK
    your haveing a GREAT time now would you tell us whats in side your go to the trail backpack sides a sam-mich and water im betting your a good boy scout with all kinds of goodes

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  10. As usual, love your pictures. Sometimes you all scare me with your seeming lack of fear of falling off steep trails into some deep abyss. Must be the mountain goat back in your lineage!

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  11. I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of 60 degrees not being fatal to snowbirds! Wayne and I already plan to venture a little farther north than everyone else, put on a pair of pants, and escape all the crowds when we retire. And it's a great way to meet like-minded adventurers...like you guys!

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  12. Anon,
    It was a great hike... until the very end when my gimpy tail was dragging in pain and you were all like happy and full of pep and kept asking how I was doing! Grrrr.

    Laverne,
    It is a "good life" on the road... almost an oxymoron figure of speech :) Thanks, see ya this spring in Lovely Ouray? Bring the dotter :))

    Steve and Joan,
    Thank you! My "purpose" has been served!

    Scamp,
    That comment sounded suspiciously like Boonie! Is that you Boonie? :))

    John and Pam
    thanks, I tend to be a little protective and vague about my favorite places :). If one is curious enough, they can find it.

    Geo and Suz,
    thanks for dropping in and commenting! have fun in your sun!

    Nina,
    Thanks! You guys should take a look see at Bog camp... three sites are large. Great spots when it warms up some, with lots of trails.

    Ed,
    Power Bars and Gatorade!

    Barbara,
    Thanks... we enjoy the rush of risk... to a point, makes us feel alive :)

    Pam and Wayne,
    Yeah!!! We are not alone! Let's meet up and hike in some "cool" places guys!!! Thanks!
    mark

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