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"We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." C. Bukowski

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Climbing Vulture


"Fear the vulture, and the vulture will come. Fear nothing, and you are the vulture."
It is said that doubt kills more dreams than failure ever does

I would add to that: It is the fear of failure that causes most to not even try... 


Bobbie and I were boondock camped in the shadowy foothills of Vulture Peak, amid a well watered desert forest of saguaro, cholla and creosote. Unlike Lake Havasu, the wind had abated from gusty gales to gentle breezes. This, if only for a few days, felt like Heaven on earth. 





Finally, we could comfortably un-coop from Goldie's confines and enjoy the outdoors. First up, a bike ride that looped up and down Vulture's rocky foothills. Normally, we either get lost or in trouble trying to force a "loop." This time was no different. But, thanks to a kindly old gent in a beat-up pickup, out scouting for javelina to bow hunt, we were successful...and by "successful," I mean pushing our bikes more than riding.



The next day it was decided to attempt another climb up to Vulture Peak's summit. We had climbed it once before a couple/three years ago and took pleasure from the challenge and expansive views from on top. There's a rocky trail to the saddle that separates two peaks; we could always turn around there if we weren't "feelin it." Yeah right :)

But first things first: a lovely approach hike through lush Sonoran Desert to Vulture's burnt umber base...    

Gonna climb that mountain...







Bobbie soaks in the balm and breeze from Vulture's saddle. The "peak" awaits behind her.

The trail steepens significantly once on the mountain proper, countless demanding "step-ups" for those with short legs. By the time we arrived to the saddle, a pretty good sweat was worked up. 


The final pitch to the summit involves bouldering up through vegetation that scratches and claws at our now thinned-by-age skin. Of course I'm bleeding out while Bobbie's clotting. Damn blood-thinners!

The route steepens, but there are plentiful safe handholds...if you don't grab a rattlesnake instead.  :)




It seemed a tad more difficult this time, but we made it nonetheless. It's difficult...as time ushers us into Geezerdom...to think about how that window of opportunity to do the things we love so much is slowly closing. What inactivity will take its place? One day at a time, Mark:
"Fear the vulture, and the vulture will come. Fear nothing, and you are the vulture."

The desert appears more a rolling sea from Vulture's 3,658 foot summit. It's easy to imagine a time between reoccurring ice ages when it was flooded, and these substantial mountains were but tiny islands.




Zooming in, I was able to spot Camp Goldie.





It's always harder to descend, so we resorted to some serious butt-schooching.

The saddle below...

View from the saddle.

A last glance at Vulture's Summit...



Peace out,
mark and bobbie

6 comments:

  1. With a view, and climb, like that the saddle would be sufficient. Have to keep climbing, to climb.

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  2. Ah, the Vulture. And Wickenburg. Just a hop, skip and Goldie ride to our place here in Quartzsite. Where full hookups await. Free!! Lots of people here on blood thinners. Silly Al's for pizza.

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  3. Another enjoyable read with purdy pixs, a big smile on my face about geezerdom :)

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  4. You talking about how long it takes to build these landscapes reminded me of an ongoing wish/dream. I would that I could be a vulture soaring at about 10,000 feet and watch a speeded up version of the earth building itself...maybe the last 500 million years or so going by beneath me as I watch. Then I wouldn't have to surmise and wonder at how it was built.

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  5. All we can say is were glad you survived to hike another day. It's great that this spot is not crawling with lots of competition as those trails look pretty narrow.
    We are getting rain from San Diego to the Oregon border so it's going to be a spectacular year for wildflowers I image even in Arizona, wish we had plans to get down that way but I don't think that's going to happen.
    GO RAMS (Mark I heard a sports caster say this morning he believes 3/4 of the country will be pulling for Jared Goff's team) (wonder why :)

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