Walkabout: Day 16, Mile 2865

November 4, 2016 ~ Friday

5a Morning Pages ~ Tonto National Forest, AZ

The days are all running together. It feels like I am no longer existing on a linear plane. I am simply in the NOW. What happened yesterday is filed away, and what will happen tomorrow in unknown. All that exists is NOW, this present moment in time.

I slept very soundly last night. I was in my bag at 7p or so and drifted off pretty quickly. I heard the mouse a couple of times, but it didn’t rouse me.

I woke around 4:30a. The first thing I noticed was how good it felt to be wearing my comfies – baggy cotton bottoms and Edward’s TKE sweatshirt. It actually feels good to have no bra on too! That is a first. 🙂

My mission in Arizona was to experience the Pueblo ruins. I did not want the tourist version. I wanted to be the “tombraider”, only I didn’t steal anything. (Well, I did take two rocks from the creek bed; one for me and one for Mom. Red rocks.) I read up online and found areas with archaeological sites that could be hiked into and explored.

My hike yesterday lead me into Rogers Canyon in the Superstition Wilderness. It should have been 4.1 miles out and back, but I got turned around once and actually passed the ruins into Angel Basin, so we ended up putting in ten miles total. That is a personal record for Justice! She has never hiked that far before.

Her little springs wore out, and I had to lift and carry her over some of the taller steps, trees and boulders, but otherwise she did great. I was grateful to have her with me on the trip back, as she pretty much knew and led the way. I should remember not to complain about all of the sniffing she does on the way out. lol

I also had to use legitimate cairns to find my way at times. The trail was very overgrown and sometimes difficult to discern. A cairn from time to time was a most welcome wayfinder. I also used a little ribbon once, which had been tied by a previous hiker. These were good things to learn as a hiker, to help me mark my way in the future. If they do not already exist, and if the path is unclear, these are tools that can help me find my way.

Dern it! I forgot to worship in Tadasana! All I could think about at the end of that hike was resting up for the 1.75 hour off-road trek back down. That was an adventure in itself.

I wonder over these ruins in the desert. What kind of people would choose a desert dwelling? How did they live? There were no trails back then, so how did they travel? How did they choose a “home”? How did they get the building supplies up into those caves? How did they conduct their lives? What things were important to them?

As I looked around that vast canyon, I saw caves all over the craggy sides. I wondered how many of them once housed living people, hundreds of years ago, hundreds of years before the white man came and claimed it all for himself. I love my country, but that was sheer greed and arrogance.

I sought internet service on my return, so I headed back toward Apache Jet and parked at the Walgreens. I drove through a dust storm. The sky was orange, dense, and dirt particles pelted the driver’s side as the wind nearly drove me off the road. I had to slow to a crawl. I couldn’t see a thing. I was awed by it, jaw hanging open and everything. What a mighty display of nature.

I decided not to turn back and chose the northern I-40 for my route into Santa Fe. I did not want to drive back into that storm. Instead, I hit SR-87 and put in about 45 minutes to the campsite I had selected. It wasn’t far, just enough to get me on my way.

As I set the car for sleeping, another kind of storm was brewing. Thunder and lightning, and heavy rains came pouring down. It was amazing. Justice and I were in perfect peace.

I might actually get to use my camp stove this morning! I have not been outside yet, but I don’t hear wind nor rain. I especially want to try to brew my own coffee, and I thought a warm oatmeal and grain breakfast would be delightful. I will start working that scenario as soon as I finish my morning pages. I need to complete all three this time. No reason not to.

I am spending within my allotted budget, averaging only $6.51 per day! Wow! I am astounded that I have been on the road for two weeks and have kept my discretionary spending to so little. I am not your modern tourist, for sure.

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