This Morning, Bobbie reminded me of an important omission in yesterday's post...
Zooming along in a crouched position, feet on the on the pedals, kicking up the ole adrenaline drip on a curvy, downhill section of Honeybee, a mountain lion bolted across my path. With ears laid back and a long tail stretched out behind, I had a good three seconds to take it in. Wow. Don't see that every day!
|Water flows in almost every wash this year|
After Honeybee, on a cloudy cool day, we attempted a long loop-hike up through the foothills of Catalina Mountain. Of course we zigged when we should of zagged and ended up doing a short loop-hike instead. Let's just say they could use some signage because there are unmarked trails going off in all directions several times per mile.
Being firm believers that there's no such thing as a bad hike, we're Ok with that. After all, the whole point is to get outdoors in nature and move. Disappointment soon dissolved into who cares. Happiness, we're told, is a choice. It's all about attitude...Life is good, all's well that ends well...you know, all that Dwayne Dryer shit.
It was a tough light day so don't expect great photos. Bad light and all, my love affair with boulders was not tempered in the least by skim mild clouds. I absolutely love wandering through these kinds of landscapes. The sights, sounds and smells remind of growing up around here.
After a couple hours of seeing no one, we stumbled across three Trail Angels on horseback. The lead guy had a pair of pruning clippers in his rifle scabbard. They were trimming back cactus and wait-a-minute bush growth from the trail when we arrived. How nice. I thanked them for their efforts.
Since our big loop-hike got cut in half, we decided to add some miles on a minor trail that followed a fence line. It had no bike tracks, and it didn't take long to understand why. Rough!
Topping a rise between washes, a mile or so in, I came face to face with a dog. She was extremely shy, had cactus in her coat and was limping a front paw. I knelt down and coaxed her to me. Poor thing; she was pretty gaunt in the hindquarters and in a bad way...whimpering. Our hearts instantly went out to her.
Bobbie set about picking off cactus needles and checked her bad paw out while I called a phone number on her collar. The call went to some lady in New Mexico, and I explained the situation and where we were.
She explained that the dog was given to a cowboy friend who lived in that area, and this was not the first call she had received. Seems the dog is an escape artist. She gave us the cowboy's number and we call it.
Bobbie explained to cowboy that we had his dog and asked how we could go about returning it. He asked where we were and she told him, as best as possible, anyway, given we frequently don't know where we are.
When Bobbie told him the road we were boondocked off of he realized we were in the same area. After a long back and forth conversation, he asked if we could see a red pickup back up toward the trailhead. Sure enough, there it was. Turns out he and a few friends were out on horseback looking for the dog. It had been missing for three days. He told us he'd start down and we told him we'd start up.
Three days? Poor girl had to be hungry. I pulled a granola bar from my pack, broke it in small pieces and watched as she gobbled it down. Suddenly, I had a new best friend. She let me know she wanted "more granola bar."
We had no leash and the cowboy mentioned that he was afraid she might run off again. "Not as long as I have granola bars," I told him. Still, just to be sure, I pulled out the only thing I could find in my pack that would serve as a leash: my best wool sweater.
The reunion was magnificent; mutual love was in the air. Cowboy removed the "leash," she wasn't going anywhere.
Since this situation took a while to reconcile, Bobbie and I decided to bag it and head for camp.
On the way home we both wondered out loud if maybe sometimes there's a reason or purpose behind "mechanical delays" or "getting lost." I mean, if we hadn't had so much trouble on our bike ride, I would have missed seeing that mountain lion zoom across my path. If we hadn't got lost today, that poor dog might still be out there...tired, hurt, lonely, hungry...a next meal for that same mountain lion.
It turns out we ordered a new Subaru Forester in Tucson. I blame my son, Caleb, and Daughter-in-law, Kelli.
You see, they have a Subaru Forester too, but it has something we didn't know we needed called "X Mode." While we were home in December and January, during blizzard after blizzard, we noticed they had no difficulty getting up our driveway... in any conditions... while we were getting stuck and having to pull Sue Bee up with the chained-up snowplow. Both vehicles have the same motor, the same transmission, All-Wheel-Drive, and so on...with one single exception: "X Mode." We didn't have X Mode.
So I decided that I (and especially Bobbie) need X Mode. It's a low-range option that better distributes traction to all four wheels at slower speeds (under 17 mph). As soon as one wheel begins to slip the "load" transfers power to one that has better traction. So our new Forester will have X Mode. No more careening down the driveway backwards! No more phone calls, "Mark, I'm stuck."
Thus, if you or any one you know needs a one owner, like new 2014 Subaru Forester with All Wheel Drive, never-been-wrecked, only 73,000 miles, let us know. It is CLEAN, and has a lot of miles left in her. We will be hanging in the Tucson area well into March. I have it on Craigs List @ $14,850, but for a reader, well, We'd knock off a bunch more :). See photos below...
mark and bobbie