Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Fluffiness of Ocotillos

The plan was to visit a little-known overlook at the South Rim (of the Grand Canyon) followed by a slow wend up to the North Side. 

               At camp that evening, 

                                  not far from Williams, Arizona, 

                                                  it was warm enough to comfortably make dinner


                                                                           enjoy the evening sky.

In the morn however, it was a different story. Mixed clouds with a chance of dog biscuits (we're cat people, dontchya know?) discouraged any inclinations toward the breakfast lingers. We wuz on duh rode at an unprecedented 10:30 a.m.

By noon I was at the Geology Museum on the South Rim. There was (similar to there is instead of there are) intermittent drizzles whose localized sheets of misting made for great photos; they also helped distract from the fact that you can no longer clearly see farther than the first line of formations.  I was surprised to read on the big info placard outside the museum about how the haze is man-made and even comes from as far away as Asia (wow!! quote Andy Warhol). And although on a good day, they go on to say, it's now clearer than it was, on a bad day it's as bad as ever.

It took a while to locate the spot, but the Great Cosmic Furrball beneficently held the wet at bay during the hike out, while the sun set, and all the way back to the parking lot. But by Tusayan, the supply hamlet a few miles south of The Park Entrance, it was pouring. It was reaaallly dark when I pulled under the big ponderosa back at the North-of-Williams camp (NOT Kaibab Lake C.G. If boondocking-curious, email for directions).

The next two weeks were spent one-jumping ahead of the reins. Between grumbles about mildew & wet tarps, I marveled at the fluffiness (fluffiness!!!) of the ocotillos along Chicken Springs Road, the first leg to Alamo Lake*. When everyone else was ready to hang it up after a long, hot summer, they are partying heartily. 


This is as close as I wanted to get. Water, especially lakes, gives me the heebie-jeebies. 

Kingman's blue sky inspired new optimism. Happily humming We've Only Just Begun, I took highway 93 20 miles (perzakly) to Big Wash Rd, about two miles beyond Chloride. I'd read about Big Wash in a trip log on Overland Frontier (couldn't find it now) and was eager to see for my self. But, again, the rains came. 

After some reflection I recalled that my new, improved, laptop-charger had probably arrived from China and I should return to Albuq to get it. While there I volunteered to fix fence in the Gila Wilderness to keep cows out of wolf habitat. Hopefully Obama's and Governor Brown's (of California) 

                       efforts to mitigate climate change 

                                       will have an effect

                                       within the next few days

                       and it'll stop raining. 

This too may have potential. 

* I made it to within about five miles of Alamo Lake, but espying, thru binocs, a bevy of RVs, I decided to put down roots where I wuz. If u 2 eschew (it rhymes!) close proximity of others, watch for the spot on the left near the top of the hill overlooking the lake. There's one right at the top on the right, but it doesn't have the view of the canyon to the northeast.